Tactical Urbanism Reimagining Nashville's Broadway Ave

Nashville's embrace of temporary urban interventions is producing amazing results that are capturing the imagination of both locals and tourists alike.

The next phase would test the viability of using the reclaimed on-street parking spaces as permanent pedestrian plazas, and would kickoff these changes during the annual PARK(ing) Day. Street furniture, plants, and blue lanes were painted to create pedestrian-friendly walking and sitting zones. The goal of this phase is to determine and implement the best form of permanent improvements for the Lower Broadway pedestrian streetscape, while creating a shared vision for the future of downtown Nashville’s Lower Broadway by understanding all of the challenges and opportunities inherent in implementing a large-scale change to a street that is so critical to downtown Nashville.

Briggs explains, “We developed a model vision that was installed during Park(ING) Day on a block that has a smaller number of businesses and fewer loading issues. The primary purpose was to inspire others to think about a longer term solution and get feedback. We are also testing how the different Metro departments would work together on similar projects. Gehl Studio came into town to survey other temporary elements in downtown with the Nashville Civic Design Center. We hope this surveying will inform a more permanent infrastructure project and identify additional areas for public space and parklets.”

“I am thrilled we have the expertise of Gehl Studios and the Nashville Civic Design Center along with our community and all stakeholders to develop and implement a shared vision for Broadway,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “This globally-recognized and iconic street needs to be fun, safe for pedestrians, and easy to navigate for residents, downtown employees, and visitors alike.”

Mayor Barry takes a look at a reimagined Lower Broadway in a virtual reality environment. Visioning exercises that physically show users how infrastructure changes can enhance livability conditions can be a crucial way to gain support for such-capital intensive projects.