Designing the Healthy Community

Designing the Healthy Community


The shape we give our city in turn shapes us.

Architecture, planning, urban and landscape design all shape the built environment and impact public health – for better and worse. In leading up to the one year anniversary of the release of Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan, The Nashville Civic Design Center is excited to announce the Shaping Healthy Communities Design Challenge, a site-based collaborative design process that engages multidisciplinary teams to create design concepts for various locations throughout Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County. Designing The Healthy Community Design Competition will use Nashville as a case study to explore ways to improve public health and livability through community collaboration and design excellence.

Seven community types in Nashville, known as “Transect Zones” – Natural, Rural, Suburban, Urban, Downtown, Centers and Districts – are highlighted and outlined in the book providing a diagnosis of the health promoting and health defeating aspects of each community type. Design strategies are then presented for making each zone healthier. These strategies are organized by six built environment “factors” that impact health: Neighborhood Design and Development, Transportation, Walkability and Pedestrian Safety, Food Resources, Housing, and Open Space and Parks.

Key places in the transect zones have been identified for improvement with the help of local stakeholders. Teams are asked to consider the constraints and premise for each unique site outlined below and then submit their qualifications and a statement of intent for their design. Upon selection, teams will work with the local stakeholders to propose a solution that addresses the critical built environment factors for that site and a design solution.

Site Selection

Teams will be assigned to a transect listed below. Please rank your preferences for site selection in the order or preference with 1 being your top choice. You may select as many or as few as you want, but for each transect you want to be considered for, please submit a unique statement of intent.

Rural/Natural | Antioch

Suburban | Madison

Urban | Jefferson Street

Center | Green Hills

Downtown | Lower Broadway

Important Dates

January 10th Call for RFQs Open
February 10th Team Selections Announced
February 15th Kick-off meeting
February 28th Design Idea Review
March 21st Final Submission Materials Due
April 13th Exhibition Opening at April Urban Design Forum


How to Enter

Team Makeup

You may enter as a team of up to five (5). Each team is encouraged to have a multi-disciplinary background and preference will be given to those that display this quality.

+ Please submit the resume of each team member
+ Contact information form
+ Statement of Intent

**For each transect you want to be considered for, please submit a unique statement of intent.

The selected teams will be required to work with the partner organization from their respective transect to generate a design solution proposal. Upon submitting the final requirements, the team will be awarded $2,500.

Final Submission Requirements

All submissions must be submitted digitally to the Nashville Civic Design Center.
1. Project Information:

Project Title
Brief description of your proposal
Description of your design vision, identifying key design elements

2. Required Images

You will be required to submit five (5) drawings, renderings or images that illustrate your proposal. Any medium may be used to accomplish your vision.

Required images include:
1. Site Plan
2. Detailed plan highlighting a portion of the site proposal 3. Perspective
4. Perspective
5. Perspective

Additional images are permitted, but not required. These images may include details of design elements, additional perspectives, plans, sections or other representative images that communicate your vision for the site.

Owner + Copyright

All materials submitted to the competition become the property of the Nashville Civic Design Center, and may be retained for archival purposes and possible exhibition and publication. Each competition entrant will retain full copyright of all of their materials and will always be given appropriate credit if and when their material is used.

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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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