Katherine Ferguson - NCDC 2017 Summer Intern
Connecting The Dots is a publication of the Nashville Civic Design Center aimed to make us rethink how public spaces in Davidson County can be reactivated across various scales. This publication looks at 5 individual sites within their respective “transect zone”. The zones presented in the publication are the Natural and Rural, Suburban, Center, Urban, and Downtown. By categorizing each site into a transect zone, NCDC hopes to identify the distinct forms of user activation in order to inform potential connections within Davidson County.
Example of public space in need of redesigning and revitalizing.
As Nashville continues to grow at a rapid rate, promoting a sense of place for Nashvillians is paramount in preserving the localities of our city. Although the increasing influx of new residents will shape new identities of existing neighborhoods, how we acclimate to shifting environments does not have to be daunting. As demonstrated through the processes in Connecting The Dots, rethinking our public spaces can be tackled and solved at a grassroots level.
Over the course of two and a half months, architecture and landscape architecture interns have conducted comprehensive research into the mechanics of multi-scalar design. From Antioch to Madison, NCDC interns have looked at a wide range of environments, each identifying within the NCDC’s “Transect Zones”. Working with each site has revealed the different complexities and similarities that go into reclaiming public spaces.
For example, rethinking Madison Park and its relation to the historic Amqui Station and senior center, FiftyForward, proved to be fruitful as a result of working with Design Your Neighborhood high school students and hosting community engagement events, such as Play Day In The Park. Since Madison Park is identified as a Suburban transect, it was important to engage the neighboring residents and workers in designing its new park.
Play Day in the Park flyer in Madison Park.
Madison residents enjoying Play Day in the Park and dreaming up ideas for their new neighborhood park.
Concerning public health, the Green Hills site revealed the importance of a “Center” zone needing more walkable/bikeable areas in order to promote user health and balanced circulation.
Potential solution for a more walkable as well as bikeable street in Green Hills.
Moreover, it was essential to establish future connections for all 5 sites if Nashville communities and neighborhoods are going to maintain unity in its ever-evolving development. Working across various scales has shown us that prioritizing health, community engagement, and future connections lays the foundation for the development of Nashville. By providing a process handbook for reclaiming public spaces, hopefully we have inspired local leaders and residents to take initiative in transforming their neighborhood with regards to connecting all of Davidson County together.
Future connections between the 5 sites in Davidson County.