Julia Landstreet is the Executive Director of the Nashville Civic Design Center. Julia’s role at the Center includes oversight of the administrative and development functions for the organization as well as cultivating relationships within the design, development, education and civic communities. She edits all publications and participates in the identification and development of future programs and projects. In December 2012 she was named by NextCity to the “2012 Disruption Index: The 77 People, Places and Ideas that Changed Cities This Year." In addition to her current position, Landstreet serves on the Executive Board of Directors for Friends of Warner Parks, the Board of The DISTRICT, and The Wyomissing Foundation. She serves on the Steering Committee for Nashville’s General Plan, and the Downtown Chamber’s Redevelopment Committee. Landstreet has served as Commissioner and Vice Mayor for the City of Belle Meade, completed Leadership Middle Tennessee 2011; other Board and leadership experience includes the Garden Club of Nashville, Hume-Fogg Academic High School, Christ Church Cathedral, Julia Green Elementary School, Artrageous, Report Card for Education, The Parent’s Council of Nashville and White Columns, NYC.
Gary Gaston is the Design Director of the Nashville Civic Design Center and a Lecturer with the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design. Gary graduated from UT College of Architecture + Design in 1999; he also studied urban design at Politechnik Krakowskiej in Krakow, Poland. Gary is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Community Development & Action from Vanderbilt University. Gary has lead planning efforts for the East Bank, Edgehill, Chestnut Hill, Lafayette and Wedgewood Houston Neighborhoods. He was a principal contributor to the Center’s book The Plan of Nashville: Avenues to a Great City, published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2005. Gary co-authored the Center's recent publication Moving Tennessee Forward: Models for Connecting Communities, and is currently working on Shaping Healthy Communities, which will be published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2013. Gary served as the project director and executive producer of the documentary film Design Your Neighborhood, which was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was shown at the Nashville Film Festival in April 2012. Gary served as the Education & Outreach co-chair on Mayor Dean’s Green Ribbon Committee, and on the Nashville Open Space Plan Committee, and currently serves on the East West End Connector and Area South of Broadway Master Planning committees. Gary was named a “Next American Vanguard” by Next American City Magazine in May 2010 – one of only 30 young urban leaders selected from across the country. Gary was a member of the 2010-2011 Leadership Nashville class; is an alumnus of the Young Leaders Council; and has served on the Board of Directors of Nashville CARES, Artrageous, GLBT Chamber of Commerce and Historic Nashville Inc., and is currently on the advisory board for Transit Now Nashville.
Communications and Community Outreach Coordinator
Design and Research Fellows
Amy S. Eskind has been a journalist since 1986. Her work has appeared in Life, People, USA Weekly, American Profile, and LIVESTRONG. Eskind holds a degree in political science from Duke University and completed the didactic program in dietetics at Middle Tennessee State University. Amy is assisting in production of NCDC’s Shaping Healthy Communities: Nashville project. She enjoys cycling, hiking and swimming.
Bryan Obara specializes in the design of sustainable urban communities. He has currently been working with the Nashville Civic Design Center to write Reclaiming Public Space in Downtown Nashville, serving as a resource for planning community-driven public spaces. This publication acknowledges the role of public space in shaping a healthy downtown for Nashville, studies best practices in nationally acclaimed public spaces, and provides tools for evaluating and envisioning public space. Bryan has achieved a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Landscape Architecture, recently culminating in thesis research on reconnecting the Fox Point Community of Providence, Rhode Island in wake of Interstate-195’s realignment. He has received funding to research and plan for multiple global events, focused on providing a lasting framework for local culture and environmental development. This includes research into the transformation of Beijing’s hutongs for a 2008 green Olympics, a proposal for green infrastructure in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, and a Second Place Award for Designing the Fair of the Future in the Ed Bacon Design Competition.
Janey recently graduated from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film with a BFA in Graphic Design. She enjoys helping local businesses and non-profit organizations find the best solution to visually communicate their message. She has five Student Addy awards under her belt.
Sarah hails from New Orleans but has called New York City home for the past two years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana State University in history and art history, focusing on modern American history and classical and renaissance art and architecture, and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. She was awarded the Kress Grant for Conservation and worked for the American Academy in Rome in 2011. She continued to work for Preservation FAAR Dr. Laurie Rush in the development of a conference, "Saving Cultural Heritage in Crisis Areas," which addressed preservation challenges in post-war and post-disaster areas and included the participation of internationally renowned leaders in historic and heritage preservation. Her graduate thesis project entitled "The Evolution of Modern Thin Stone Veneer Systems, 1950-1980" addressed the preservation concerns of such buildings and advocated for preservation of buildings of the Modern movement. The body of this project was accepted for presentation at the annual national APT Conference in Charleston and the 12th Annual International Stone Conference in New York.
Jill is a PhD candidate in Community Research and Action at Vanderbilt University (Peabody College). Her master’s degree is in Community Psychology and Social Change (Penn State Harrisburg). Jill has been studying community-based participatory and action research methods while applying her research skills in a diversity of settings. She has worked with NCDC in a number of capacities over the past few years. She was a part of the team that conducted a photovoice project in an urban housing project with inner-city youth. The photography was displayed at NCDC as one final product for the project. She also served as the program evaluator for our “Design Your Neighborhood” documentary project involving urban youth and civic design. She has worked with numerous local organizations including the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on human trafficking; Vanderbilt University on the cost of flooding in Nashville; and the Tennessee Small Business Coalition on health care reform. She has also done a number of overseas projects in Moldova and China. Her dissertation is a study of immigrants from former Soviet republics living in the United States. Jill is assisting in production of NCDC’s Shaping Healthy Communities: Nashville project.