Creating Places: A Citizen Observer's Look at Nashville's Built Environment

Writer's Note: William Williams' interest in the manmade environment dates to 1970, at which point the then-young Williams started a collection of postcards of city skylines. The collection now numbers 1,000-plus cards. Among the writer's specific interests are exterior building design, city district planning, demographics, signage, mixed-use development, mass transit and green/sustainable construction and living. Williams began his Creating Places column with The City Paper in February 2005. The column in its original form was discontinued in September 2008 and reinvented via this blog in November 2008. Creating Places can be found on the home page of the website of The City Paper, at which Williams has worked in various capacities since October 2000.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Creating Places: Ratings game

Following is one man's rating of Nashville's five best mixed-use, walkable urban districts. Note: For this exercise, I excluded those districts within "downtown" (SoBro, The Gulch, Rolling Mill Hill/Rutledge Hill and the central business district).

Here we go:

1. Hillsboro Village
2. Five Points
3. Elliston Place (seen here)
4. Germantown
5. 12South


  1. Downtown Madison should go on the list, it's got small store fronts with minimal on street parking, sidewalks on the downtown section plus sidewalks on neighborhoods next to downtown.
    Unfortunately there are plenty of empty storefronts but it can bounce back from the recession and the administration's lack of attention because it's not a "trendy" or "hip" part of town.

  2. A-Mous,

    Yes, that is a strong district in terms of form and function. I've always found "downtown Madison" charming in its own quirky and old-school way. A similar locale is "downtown Woodbine" (with Phonolux and La Hacienda, among others).


  3. Edgehill Village? It's not big but it's great.

  4. Good point about Madison. It may not be within the urban core, but it can be an ideal location for a "town center". Which is what I think most of the suburbs and outlying cities should start supporting. For instance Madison could use some mixed-use and multi-unit housing within walking distance of the storefronts.

    I also think the area at the train stop in Donelson could be an ideal location for a town center.

  5. A-Mous2,

    I considered Edgehill Village. But, yes, a tad too small.