Downtown | Lower Broadway

Downtown | Lower Broadway

We tend to define downtown visually by its buildings: Municipal Buildings, Courthouses, historic churches, tourist areas, skyscrapers, arenas and convention centers. But it is the transportation infrastructure—bodies of water, streets, railroads, interstate highways—that has shaped central cities for better and worse. 

The core populations have swollen over the past decade with commuting workers. The public spaces, parks, streets, restaurants, and entertainment venues in the core are not just for downtown’s workers and residents, however, but function as resources for residents of the entire region.

Downtown Community Basic Characteristics:

  • Multiple uses and functions—including commercial, office, retail and residential
  • Extensive commercial and retail with large office buildings
  • High-density development zoning.
  • Significantly larger buildings, in terms of footprint, than those typically found in the surrounding community.
  • Balance of automobile, pedestrian and bike-oriented infrastructure.
  • Significant amounts of parking garages. 
  • Food access typically dominated by small market stores and sit down dining options
  • Center point of major thoroughfares served by public transportation.
  • Mix of pocket and large parks.

Focus Factors: Walkability, Open Space, Neighborhood Design 

Lower Broadway site points of interest

The design of Lower Broadway has slowly evolved to be more considerate of pedestrians. With the partnership of Gehl Studio, the design for a more permanent solution that considers three different conditions along Broadway that can accommodate movable seating, standing and performance zones.

More on the downtown transect:

Recent Projects

Alleyways of Nashville

Alleyways of Nashville

This publication shows some of the strategies that alley programs internationally have implemented in their work. Some have environmental benefits such as replacing asphalt with a more pervious material to collect water; while others have benefits for improving people's safety and perception of alleys such as providing lighting and visibility. Adopting even a few of these strategies could help transform alleys in Nashville which could becomes more active and prosperous. Most of these strategies require low maintenance, but it is important to take advantage of public space as a canvas for programming social activity. 

Fairgrounds Public Meetings Report

Fairgrounds Public Meetings Report

The Nashville Civic Design Center was asked by Mayor David Briley and the Fairgrounds Nashville Board of Directors, to facilitate a series of public meetings with the Fairgrounds Design Team, to get input in order to inform a more refined version of the Fairground Improvement Plan.

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