Better Cities for Pets

Better Cities for Pets

Nashville Civic Design Center is proud to be partnering with Mars Petcare in its Better Cities for Pets initiative.  The goal of Better Cities for Pets is to make Greater Nashville, and cities all over the U.S., become healthy, happy places for people and pets in four key areas of focus; shelters, homes, businesses and parks. Mars Petcare's commitment to; public health and the connections between people and pets in Shaping the Healthy Community and reclaiming public space are exciting and we look forward to contributing to pilot projects and testing new initiatives being developed in and around Nashville.

Mars Petcare is also partnering with The US Conference of Mayors, Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County, Mayor's Advisory Council on Animal Welfare, Downtown Franklin Association and many more.  The Better Cities for Pets program strives to bring awareness, innovative thinking and new initiatives to help make Greater Nashville a model for people & pet-friendly cities now and in the future.


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Recent Projects

A New East Bank Neighborhood in Nashville Preview

A New East Bank Neighborhood in Nashville

During the Spring 2016 Semester, The Greater Nashville Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) requested the fourth year undergraduate Nashville Urban Design Studio to explore a proposal for a “New East Bank Neighborhood in Nashville.” The site is on the Cumberland River, just across from Downtown Nashville’s skyline. At the present time, despite its proximate location, it is an industrial wasteland: what urban theorist Alan Berger terms a Drosscape. The site is inherently bounded and constrained by the CSX mainline railroad embankment to the north, the elevated embankment of the I-65 interstate highway to the east, the Woodland Street embankment and extensive football stadium parking lots to the south, and the Cumberland River to the west. Nonetheless, with downtown Nashville’s extraordinary building boom ongoing, with no end in sight, this 55-acre location would seem ripe for urban redevelopment.

Having made proposals to redevelop “Spaghetti Junction” in 2012, once again studio faculty member T. K. Davis provided his students with a street and block urban design plan, asking them to develop the program and design of blocks as urban architecture, providing public spatial definition and spatial activation as places. “Spaghetti Junction” is a comparable size multi-block area aligned with the Eastgate site, but on the immediate other side of the interstate.

Neighborhood Assessment Toolkit

Neighborhood Assessment Toolkit

A continuation of both The Plan of Nashville and Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan, the Neighborhood Assessment Toolkit is an assessment and development scoring tool intended for local and community associations when engaging new development. The Toolkit is comprised of neighborhood and parcel assessment resources, along with a development scorecard based on the 10 Principles of the Plan of Nashville.

Placemaking: Challenges + Opportunities in Metro Nashville Preview

Placemaking: Challenges + Opportunities in Metro Nashville

The Project for Public Spaces, on their organization’s web site, asks “what if we built our communities around places?” They then go on to define Placemaking as “both an overarching idea and a hands-on approach for improving a neighborhood, city, or region, Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community.  Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, Placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value.  More than just promoting better urban design, Placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.”

Each team asked the questions “could the spaces proposed improve pedestrian, bicycle, and street connectivity?  Could they maintain and/or strengthen street and/or bike and pedestrian connections depending on the site?”  The intent was to promote walkable, bike-friendly environments and access to transit, with particular attention to providing connections between the proposed spaces and surrounding neighborhoods.

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