Chattanooga

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Having survived Civil War and catastrophic flooding, Chattanooga became the "Dynamo of Dixie" by the 1940s—a bustling, midsized industrial town. Fifty years later, betrayed by a sagging, old-school economy, the city fell into decline. But that all changed in 2002 with the 21st Century Waterfront Project—a visionary public–private partnership to revitalize the aging city. Thirty-six months and $120 million later, the work was completed. The Riverfront Parkway was rerouted and anchored with the Tennessee Aquarium. A stunning glass bridge connects the city to the old money of the Bluff View Arts District. Brand-new green spaces accent the finest architectural assets. And the whole town is talking technology: an ultrahigh-speed fiber-optic connection that transfers data at one gigabit per second. Welcome to "Gig City."

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