Urban Design Forum

Urban Design Forum


The Nashville Urban Design Forum was founded in 1995, and meets monthly to discuss the role Design plays in the city and around the world.

Free for Members, $10 for Non-Members

Thanks to Yazoo Brewing Company for being a sponsor of the Urban Design Forum.

Upcoming Events

Shaping The Healthy Community: Nashville Neighborhoods

Shaping The Healthy Community: Nashville Neighborhoods

This Forum will be held at Cal Turner Family Center at Meharry Medical College (1101 21st Avenue North) with doors open at 5:30pm and program beginning at 6:00pm. The event is free to attend and RSVP’s are requested here.   NCDC Members are invited to a pre-program panelists reception with snacks and beverages from 5:00pm-5:30pm. Click here to check your NCDC membership status here or click here to become a member.  

Parking:  free parking is on a first-come basis in the onsite lot, street and adjacent garage (Available at the rear of the Cal Turner Center and Lot K, Parking Garage, Corner of 21st and Meharry Boulevard).  Please do not park in areas or spots signed as “Reserved.” 



Speakers Include:

  • Lonnell Matthews – Mayors Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement    Lonnell Matthews, Jr. is the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods & Community Engagement (ONCE). Matthews attended Tennessee State University where he studied Accounting/ Business Law. Lonnell served as an employee of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee for 15 years, from 2000-2015, most recently in the role of District Executive Director of Youth Outreach. In 2007, at age 27, Matthews became the youngest African-American elected to Nashville’s Metro Council, representing District 1.  His leadership roles on the Metro Council included serving as Speaker Pro Tempore, as well as chairing the education, parks; recreation and budget; finance committees. Megan Barry appointed Lonnell to her administration in October 2015. As Director of ONCE, Lonnell’s office is responsible for constituent response management, community/neighborhood relations, public safety/criminal justice policy, New American policy, aging policy and social equity initiatives.
  • Gary Gaston – Nashville Civic Design Center   Gary Gaston is the Executive Director of Nashville Civic Design Center (NCDC), and serves as a Lecturer with the University of Tennessee College of Architecture + Design. He joined NCDC in 2002, and has led numerous planning and design efforts for the organization. Gary is: a contributor to The Plan of Nashville: Avenues to a Great City; co-authored Moving Tennessee Forward: Models for Connecting Communities; served as the project director and executive producer of the National Endowment for the Arts-funded documentary film Design Your Neighborhood; and is co-author of the book, Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan, released by Vanderbilt University Press in April 2016. 

Panelists Include:

 If you have any questions about the event, please contact events@civicdesigncenter.org.

*PLACEMAKING – Placemaking is a process that capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, and it results in the creation of quality public spaces that contribute to people's health, happiness, and well-being.  – Project for Public Spaces definition

Street Fight: Janette Sadik-Khan

Street Fight: Janette Sadik-Khan

Join the Nashville Civic Design Center (NCDC) for its inaugural Living the Plan Breakfast, featuring Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow, the co-authors of Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. This duo will talk about how they were able to implement revolutionary changes to New York City’s streetscape, and Nashville’s potential to increase pedestrian safety and bikeability.

Each ticket includes breakfast and the new paperback copy of Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. 

Host Committee : 

To find out more about our host committee opportunities, please e-mail info@civicdesigncenter.org.

Program Information:

7:30a - 8:00a : Check-In

8:00a - 8:30a : Breakfast and Opening Remarks

8:30a - 9:00a : Keynote Speaker

9:00a - 9:30a : Book Signing


About the Authors of Street Fight

Janette Sadik-Khan

Janette Sadik-Khan is one of the world’s foremost authorities on transportation and urban transformation. She served as New York City’s transportation commissioner from 2007 to 2013 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, overseeing historic changes to the city’s streets—closing Broadway to cars in Times Square, building nearly 400 miles of bike lanes and creating more than 60 plazas citywide. A founding principal with Bloomberg Associates, she works with mayors around the world to reimagine and redesign their cities. She chairs the National Association of Transportation Officials, implementing new, people-focused street design standards, which have been adopted in 40 cities across the continent.

Seth Solomonow

As press secretary for the NYC Department of Transportation under Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Seth was the agency’s chief media strategist during a period of unprecedented change. He developed messaging and managed communications as dramatic streetscape transformations became headline and international news. These strategies helped inform the public debate and the successful implementation of some of New York City’s most ambitious initiatives, from the pedestrianization of Times Square to the building of nearly 400 miles of bike lanes, to the launch of Citi Bike, the nation’s largest bike share program. 

AUD•ible Design Field Trip: Columbus, IN and Cincinnati, OH

AUD•ible Design Field Trip: Columbus, IN and Cincinnati, OH

AUD - ible Field Trip - Columbus, Indiana to Cincinnati, Ohio

April 21st - 23rd, 2017

Columbus, Indiana “The Athens of the Prairie”

Columbus is an improbable town to say the least. The American Institute of Architects ranked Columbus 6th in the nation for architectural innovation and design – right behind Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Even if you are not an architecture buff, this small, southern Indiana town is well worth the visit to explore its streets and study its buildings, for it is one of the rare places on earth where the idea that architecture can improve the human condition has been put to the test.

Trip Highlights include:

  • Mill Race Park Tour

The remarkable redesign of this city park by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates will be the perfect lunch spot once we arrive in Columbus to stretch our legs and explore the over 700 acres of park and open space, and 20 miles of people trails.

  • Miller House and Garden Tour

Private tour of one of the most highly regarded mid-century modern homes, designed by architect Eero Saarinen, landscape architect Dan Kiley, and interiors by Alexander Girard.

  • Architecture Bus Tour

This guided bus tour shows many of the more than 70 notable buildings and public art installations created by the likes of Eero Saarinen, Deborah Berke, Harry Weese, Kevin Roche, I.M. Pei, Henry Moore, and Dale Chihuly.

Cincinnati, Ohio "The Queen City"

Cincinnati is one of the most diverse cities when it comes to history and design because of its impressive quantity and quality of architectural styles throughout the city. It features some of the most iconic Art Deco designs in the United States, and designs by architects such as Samuel Hannaford and Isaiah Rogers.

Trip Highlights include:

  • Tour of Smale Riverfront Park

Recipient of the the National Facility/Park Design Award by the National Recreation and Park Association, Smale Park includes feature such as interactive play space, majestics gardens, a carousel, and more!

  • John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge

Option to tour Zaha Hadid’s Contemporary Art Center, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and/ or a Beer Tunnel Tour

  • Cincinnati Museum Center “Union Terminal” - “One of the most iconic Art Deco masterpieces in the United States”

Over the Rhine Neighborhood Tour

We will look at the historic neighborhood of Over the Rhine, where there has been a lot of revitalization and renovations throughout the neighborhood.  After the neighborhood tour, we will explore Findlay Market for Lunch.

  • Tour of Mariemont, Ohio

Past Events

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