Urban Design Services

A New Partnership to Promote Good Urban Design

The Nashville Area MPO has joined forces with the Nashville Civic Design Center to begin work on four major tasks to integrate good urban design guidelines with transportation policies and investment strategies. Throughout 2010 in preparation for the new 2035 Regional Transportation Plan, the two organizations will work together on the following efforts.

Downtown Nashville Transit Circulator & Neighborhood Connectors

Improved downtown circulation, in conjunction with new and improved neighborhood connectors, will improve the effectiveness of the existing Nashville MTA bus service while also making regional service more attractive to those commuting into downtown from the suburbs and neighboring communities. An expanded downtown circulator will help increase overall system ridership, promote tourism and the downtown economy, connect urban neighborhoods, and help reduce auto dependency during travel periods. The latter will be critical in congestion management and air quality conformity.

Transit Oriented Development Concepts along Strategic Corridors

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) has exploded over the past decade in many of America's fastest growing regions to have embraced mass transit as a key ingredient of economic success. The NCDC and MPO will explore the concept of TOD along strategic corridors, including the East and Northeast Corridors, to be used as a tool to promote the concept of TOD with communities, municipalities, and private-sector developers, and real estate professionals.

Healing the Historic Pikes of Nashville

The Plan of Nashville chapter entitled "Nashville and its Region: Making Connections" explored the concept of healing the historic pikes by coordinating land use and transportation planning and policies. The article "Reforming the Arterials: Streets That Move Cars and Create Great Places" by Metro Planning Director Rick Bernhardt describes the effort of revitalizing the historic pikes as "the means to link and enhance all elements of the city.

This study would use Gallatin Pike as an initial case study, over time expanding to each of the heavily commercialized historic pikes. Gallatin Pike is ideal as an initial study area because it has recently been rezoned to an SP District and also will be having a BRT system installed during the summer 2009. Future corridors could include Hillsboro, Murfreesboro, Dickerson, Charlotte and Nolensville Pikes.

Work performed as part of this task will take into consideration other planning efforts along the corridors connecting downtown Nashville with the region including the MPO's various corridor studies (e.g., Northeast Corridor Mobility Study) and local and state planning initiatives.

Design Consideration for Bridges

This program would explore the possibilities for various different design considerations (depending upon locations) for the standard TDOT bridge designs. These alternatives could be used in "signature" locations (highly visible gateways and entrances) in cities, towns and scenic destinations across Tennessee.

The team proposes taking the lead on producing a study, partnering with the University of Tennessee College of Architecture + Design (UTCAD) and various additional engineering programs in the state (to be identified) to produce a series of design recommendations for TDOT.

Results of this task will be incorporated into the MPO's long-range transportation plan in a way that provides general guidance to state and local agencies on the design options that could be considered for bridge projects to ensure the ultimate selection of a context sensitive solution.

About the Nashville Civic Design Center

The mission of the Nashville Civic Design Center (NCDC) is to elevate the quality of Nashville's built environment and to promote public participation in the creation of a more beautiful and functional city for all.

The NCDC also published The Plan of Nashville, a vision plan for growth and development that was created and endorsed by the citizens of Nashville. During the visioning process that created the Plan, consensus emerged regarding Ten Principles to guide public policy, development practice, urban planning and design in Nashville.

Much of the Nashville Civic Design Center's work centers on research of best practices in urban planning and civic design and the ways these practices can be implemented in Nashville and Davidson County; promotion of the concepts and potential of high-quality urban planning and civic design; and education of the Nashville community about why design matters.

For More Information

Urban Design Services:

Michael Skipper, AICP
Executive Director
Nashville Area MPO

Gary Gaston
Design Studio Director
Nashville Civic Design

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