Shaping Healthy Communities

Shaping Healthy Communities

Overview

The shape that we give to our city, in turn shapes us. Since America’s growth boom following WWII, the built form we began giving our cities and suburbs has molded an increasingly overweight, under-active population. Over the past several decades, public health officials have established ever-stronger links between the quality of our built environment and the startling rise of largely preventable diseases. Recognizing this relationship, NCDC’s Shaping Healthy Communities (SHC) initiative engages the causes and outcomes of health defeating community design, and seeks to influence the creation of health-promoting communities. 

The SHC Initiative originates from the 2016 NCDC publication, Shaping the Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan.  Analyzing Nashville using the “transect”, an urban planning model central to the New Urbanist and smart growth movements, Shaping the Healthy Community provides a diagnosis of health promoting and health defeating aspects present across Nashville while ascribing evidence based best practices to ten unique case study locations. 

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During the creation of Shaping the Healthy Community, six key features emerged as key built environment influencers upon public health, and guide the work of the SHC Initiative. These factors are:

  1. Neighborhood Design & Development
  2. Walkability and Pedestrian Safety
  3. Transportation
  4. Open Space and Parks
  5. Housing
  6. Food Resources

 

 

Recent Projects

Connecting The Dots

Connecting The Dots

In Nashville Civic Design Center's "The Nashville Plan: Shaping the Healthy Community" seven transects are identified that make up Davidson County. Each of these zones have their strengths and challenges as they strive to form a healthy, safe community. This publication of the Nashville Civic Design Center (NCDC) is aimed to make us rethink how public spaces in Davidson County can be reactivated across various scales. The report looks at five individual sites within their respective “transect zone." They are: Natural and Rural, Suburban, Center, Urban, and Downtown.

A New East Bank Neighborhood in Nashville

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.

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