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downtown cliff

Dreamscape

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We have had some interesting discussions on specific projects and demographic trends of late, but it seems like it has been awhile since we had a fun, upbeat discussion on how we would like our urban environment to develop. I would be interested in everyone's "dreamscape" for SoBro, especially Gateway Blvd and Demonbreun. What would you like the streetscape to look like? Skyline? What kind of businesses, residential developments, etc? Example pictures from other cities would be nice.

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i would love to see a park close to the new ball park. the closest thing downtown is bicentennial, centennial and shelby. mid to low-rise residential areas with a lot of shopping. not too many businesses, those can go to the cbd (excluding the shops of course) and a ton of restaurants. i think a childrens museum would be cool to put down there like the discovery house in murfreesboro. i'd want this area to be very family friendly. a movie theater would also be great. it doesn't even have to be one of those mega-theaters that nashville seems to love lately. i'm sure i could come up with a lot more.

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When thinking of SoBro, I can't help but think of the walkable parts of Austin. Picture Congress Ave., minus the tall buildings -- the width of Congress could possibly compare to the width of Gateway. Congress Ave. has always been bustling with activity when I've been there. I also like the vibe of the 'hoods immediately east and west of Congress with the residential, shops, restaurants and trendoid bars, and of course 6th Street. Nashville can't and shouldn't replicate everything good about Austin, but I think it provides a good model for what SoBro could contain. Oh, and you cant leave out the diverse variety of live music venues (thanks in part to SXSW) and the record stores and head shops.

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I agree with what's been mentioned. I'll keep my post limited and let some pics do the talking.

As far as heights go, 10-12 stories along Gateway and then tapered down to low/ mid rise from that point. Encore's too tall for it's context, but what can I do about it. Don't restrict businesses, just larger businesses. I can see this area as being great for small companies - ie. architects/ designers, graphic artists, artists, 10-15 people and under kind of business. Last but not least, OPEN SPACE, a la Bryant Park or something that could very easily be oriented with a museum or theater. It'd be awesome to have a theater that occasionally would have outdoor movies much like Centennial but could function as open space at other times.

Here's a few photos of what I could see. Sorry, couldn't track any streetscape kind of shots. If I stumble across some more I've taken, I'll get those up here.

Some options for Gateway/ mid-rise:

Minneapolis%20misc-008.jpg

New%20York%20City%20misc-006.jpg

Riverfront%20Park-Denver-027.jpg

Some nice urban townhomes:

St%20Anthony%20Falls-021.jpg

Riverfront%20Park-Denver-001.jpg

Riverfront%20Park-Denver-002.jpg

More affordable townhome option:

Riverfront%20Park-Denver-039.jpg

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cdub,

Nice photos. I especially like the second one down; do you remember where that building is located?

I'm interested in your perspective on mid-rise vs. high-rise. I've gone on the record here before saying that I like skyscrapers, but I'm more concerned with density and a good relationship to the street at the pedestrian level. There is a technical phrase for the concept, but I don't remember what it is.

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My perfect SoBro would mainly consist of one thing...street-fronted buildings. One of the most pedestrian unfriendly things that developers do is to build those 1 or 2 row parking lots in front of a building(2525). If i were mayor i would enact an ordinance against it. It makes me wonder, does anyone know where to find a list of ordinances for the city and or neighborhoods?

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Riverfront%20Park-Denver-001.jpg

Riverfront%20Park-Denver-002.jpg

More affordable townhome option:

Riverfront%20Park-Denver-039.jpg

I like these a lot!! Nice :) However, I see these more for the Music Row/Midtown/Hillsboro Village area. I'd think 6-10 story buildings would be best for the Gateway. And I've said it before, and I'll say it again... that new CC should go in the gulch. :angry:

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I like these a lot!! Nice :) However, I see these more for the Music Row/Midtown/Hillsboro Village area. I'd think 6-10 story buildings would be best for the Gateway. And I've said it before, and I'll say it again... that new CC should go in the gulch. :angry:

Or nowhere. :blush:

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do you remember where that building is located?

The gray with bluish bldg. is somewhere in NYC. A coworker of mine shot it and I'll check where it's at exactly. The others are Denver that I took and Minneapolis that another coworker shot.

As far as my opinion, I'll first have you check out the Skyline thread or the Encore for some of my thoughts. My personal thoughts, in a summary, are the mid-rise to low-rise create the best neighborhoods. Apparently I'm a bit too much a traditionalist/sentamentalist in thinking people want community, which is what these can provide. A high-rise is a private hotel.

I'm not sure what term you're thinking, but is pedestrian-scaled where you're going? High-rises do little promote pedestrian-scale feeling without the all important setback. That's why Vancouver has been mentioned as being a successful residential high-rise city. Slapping awnings on the facade and plugging in storefronts are cosmetic and don't address the scale of a building. I've also never seen or have yet to be shown a High-rise neighborhood that's highly desirable. That are plenty of great places in the world 10 stories and under that we can learn from.

Check out the skyline thread and let me know if you want me to go any further into some of my points of view.

AtlBrain, I disagree that these couldn't be incorporated in SoBro. 10 or so stories along Gateway, yes, but I feel a more intimate fabric is needed as you approach the Symphony towards downtown and head out towards suburbia along 4th/ 2nd or any of the other major thoroughfares. The major streets can have some larger buildings, my preference 4-8 stories, but on the minor streets keep the scale lower. If we're going to go bigger than 6, there has to be setbacks at the street on all streets. Encore and BZA has failed us in this regard.

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great pics cdub! i'd love to see any of these in sobro or the gulch.

Yeah,

I really loved those buildings above... especially the second one down...

My NUMBER 1 2 and probably 3 in an urban enviornment is the outdoor

areas/landscaping/green/ etc.. etc.. THAT is what makes it inviting to families.. and

having kids REALLY does make one more likely to know their neighbors (even

if THEY dont have kids.. you want to know who they are, etc... if for no other reason

than safety). But the more families you have in the area, the more likely you

are to have a community, and people knowing eachother, etc.. etc... If I didn't have

kids, I certainly wouldn't know my neighbors... And I think that an inviting urban

streetscape, with lots of trees, and public parks, etc.. really do foster that kind of

growth.. so here goes some streetscapes that I would LOVE to see...

sur2.jpg

sur3.jpg

0049_G.jpg

twinbrook_4.jpg

urban_play_7.jpg

street.jpg

WOULD LOVE LOVE LOVE to see something like this facing the cumberland and

Downtown (if they couldn't put super awesome towers.. which I would love to

see on that side)

PlanHouse_AssemWFhousing.jpg

I REALLY like this smaller urban branch library:

millerhplwest.JPG

I'm going to try and find some better examples of streetscapes that I really like...

these were all I could find doing a quick online search.. I'm sure there are others that come

even closer to my vision... but this would be a GREAT start...

Now on to another thing DESPERATLY needed in downtown Nashville... a GREAT urban park

.. yes I know.. the one by the courthouse is great... as is the bi-centennial.. but there needs

to be something great closer to SoBRO... and I wish there were an AWESOME park facing

the cumberland with cool water features and stuff, so here goes my dreamscape for urban

parks in downtown nashville:

downtownpark.jpg

downtownpark2.jpg

WisnerPark2.jpg

st-louis-fountain-22.4.jpg

DenisonPark3.jpg

MallJugglersNearFountain_400x254.jpg

I'm sure I'll find more later... don't want to inundate you guys all at once... hehehe

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How about some inspiration from one of my favorite cities... Philly. I was there a week and I think we used the car like twice... and one of those times was to make a visit to Atlantic City lol.

The pics were taken with my olllld camera so they kinda suck lol.

JUL1337.jpg

I like the little 'Walk! Philadephia' signs all around the city....

JUL1426.jpg

Notice the little waterfall type thing in the distance... if I remember right, through that was an entrance to the subway.

JUL1502.jpg

JUL1552.jpg

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Since we're talking dreamscapes here.... this one isn't for SoBro...

This is a dream for the east bank of the river... I'd LOVE it if all this were residential, facing downtown:

DSC02278-1.jpg

It could, SHOULD of course have 3-7 stories set to the sidewalk to give it a good scale and walkability on the street level.. but THEN these COOL TOWERS after a set back up on top (ala the Sobro limits).... but without limits on how high they could go :yahoo: ... wohoo...

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Here are some more neat streetscapes I'd LOVE to see develop in SoBro AND across the river!!!

Chicago of course!

35.jpg

34.jpg

17.jpg

p6190196.jpg

Brasfield%20Square.JPG

michigan_avenue_people1_small.JPG

Testshots_07_19_02_008.jpg

flowers.in.median3.jpg

flowers.along.michigan.avenue3.jpg

12.jpg

Nice mix of low rise and high rise!!!

michigan_avenue_street_1_small.JPG

Michigan_Randolph_TODAY.jpg

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There have been many great images posted. Soon we are going to have to put together a design charrette and put a UP Vision for SoBro together on paper. Here some photos that I thought were relevant.

Main%20Street-026.jpg

Avenue%20Daumesnil-009.jpg

La%20Rambla-006.jpg

Mill%20District-006.jpg

Mill%20District-011.jpg

Nicollet%20Mall-001.jpg

Lincoln%20Park1.jpg

OXO-006.jpg

Paris%20misc-012.jpg

Placa%20de%20Catalunya-008.jpg

Pompidou%20Center-008.jpg

Casa%20Batllo-001.jpg

Warehouse%20District-005.jpg

Warehouse%20District-037.jpg

Legacy-052.jpg

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Wow! Lots of great photos. Bzorch, I especially liked the shots of Paris. There is a great greenway on top of that viaduct, and pricey galleries under the old arches. I think it is the Promenade Plant

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Linclink, I also dig the Chicago shots. Great city. We like to stay in a hotel near Grant Park, with a room overlooking the L. The hotel folks think we are nuts.

Yeah, Chicago is great... and so is the L!!! hehehehe.... Having grown up there, (downtown, back when it wasn't that cool yet... hehehehehehe) it was always nice... but nothing amazing... I think what really has placed it among the most beautiful "walkable" cities (cause obviously, the architecture is amazing... so I'm not talking about that right now) in the world, I think, is how they have made sure to add lots and lots of green to downtown. There are flowerboxes on street level retail, there are trees and planters all over the place... EVEN THE parking garages had flowerboxes!!!!!!

Not to mention the great parks, and the great use of the lake, and all the great museums and attractions etc.. etc.. but I again, I go back to how they have transformed Chicago into a truly walkable city.. a city that you actually WANT to walk, through the use of lots and lots of landscaping. The buildings there are really high, but what makes it feel more intimate is the use of trees, not dinky 6, 7 foot trees... they have some 10-14 footers lining the streets, and they REALLY make the street level feel inviting, despite the height of some of the buildings.. they really make a difference in the Scale of the street (plus they're cheap, and they help filter out pollution)... we ditched the car on the first day (in an ACTUAL surface parking lot! so cool!! on grand (street I used to live on) just a block from Michigan Ave... all of 2 dollars for all day parking... I hope they never build anything there.. cheapest parking you can get in Chicago!!! But back to my point, we didn't want to drive anywhere... we just wanted to walk...

So back to my point... maybe Nashville can't copy those great old historic buildings from Chicago, or the great highrises... nor should it... but it CAN and, in my opinion, SHOULD, use Chicago (not Charlotte, or Chattanooga, or Atlanta) as an example/inspiration in creating a truly walkable and pedestrian friendly downtown, with great green space, great parks, and museums, and better use of it's greatest asset... the RIVERFRONT!!!!

Bzorch!!

Those Paris pics (especially your last post, with the greenway) are AWESOME!!!! I bet the city's planners would'nt mind a trip to Paris to help get their juices flowing.. Maybe the forum can take up a collection and send them to Chicago, then on to paris... hehehehe

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we ditched the car on the first day

Linclink, yea, we go carless in Chicago, as well. We like to fly into Midway and take the train downtown. It stops two blocks from our favorite hotel. Did the same thing from BWI into D.C. earlier this month. That's why I have always been a fan of the idea of Nashville's commuter rail including a stop at the airport.

Bzorch, I forgot to mention how much I liked the link to the Porter House NYC. I'm intrigued by projects that combine old shells with new construction. The Exchange does that to a much lesser extent with its top floor.

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The nice thing about Chicago and New York is the fact that high-rise development was planned for. Walk down Michigan Ave and you'll notice 20' wide sidewalks and four or more lanes of traffic. Same in NYC. Those weren't decisions made recently, but were made towards the beginning of the skyscraper era after a few 'mistakes' that they really couldn't foresee happened. Nonetheless, those widths help to promote a pedestrian feel.

Nashville has a much smaller block structure, which requires a less intense development scenario, lest our streets end up like this, the one place I know of in NYC with smaller streets...

Lower%20Manhattan.JPG

I also love Grant Park/ Millenium Park. These parks, along with Central Park, help to make the buildings feel less overwhelming. They also provide an escape from the built environment and an alternative side of the street to walk down to actually enjoy the architecture and not live in it's shadow.

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It's true that NYC has wide streets and very wide sidewalks, and your correct that they were planned that way. NYC's grid system was planned before development ever began north of downtown. That's how Central Park was created(they didnt raze old neighborhoods to create the park, they just simple never developed there on purpose). However in the old city(lower Manhatten/before the grid system) streets are much smaller and sidewalks more narrow; about 10.5 feet(i believe the same width as Nashville). Even with the more narrow canyons i never have felt overwhelmed in downtowm NYC. If a person is always looking up when they walk, vertigo will pose more of a problem than intimidation. What makes lowwer Manhatten liveable is what is provided at street level....parks. These are not large areas of land, simply a shaded seating area. My favorite comparative Nashville park is the one on Church between 6th and 7th. Most suburbanites dont consider these real parks because there are not rolling acres of ponds and ducks and parking so that one doesn't have to WALK into the park(God forbid!) These area's are nothing more than a street level piece of nature. Plenty of seating, limited pavement, typically some form of historical/cultural tribute, oh yeah......WI-FI, simply a nice place to relax! These park, although small, become an area that downtown residents can feel is their own. It also wouldn't hurt downtown Nashville to create a public tennis or basketball court. All those new residents on Church St will need somewhere to play.

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Downtown Nashville REALLY REALLY REALLY needs to go all out on the riverfront, and make it into a SUPER park... I'm not familiar enough with the whole extent of it, but it wuold seem doable to me... and the SoBro area REALLY needs a nice park... and again, great landscaping on ALL downtown, lots of 10-14 foot trees,streets, sidewalk improvements ala Church Street, etc... would all go a REALLY long way in transforming downtown Nashville.

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One of the things I would really like to see is an improvement to the connection between the East Bank Greenway and Shelby Park/Shelby Bottoms. Right now the only connections are bike lanes down Shelby and Davidson and a historical walk down part of Shelby. The bike lane along Davidson is bleak and poorly maintained. There are two railroad track crossings that could qualify as canyons. Sure, the area I'm talking about is not in SoBro, and only part of it is downtown, but such a link would be a great amenity to those living or visiting downtown. It would help tie SoBro, the Gulch, and the rest of downtown in with East Nashville, and with the completion of the proposed pedestian bridge between Shelby Bottoms and Two Rivers Park, the Opryland area.

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Have you guys seen the work WRT did for the Civic Design Center for the riverfront? Here is a link to the overall rendering. Riverfront Poster .pdf needs to be added after the file name once you download it. At least when I downloaded it.

You can also go to the Civic Design Center Riverfront Redevelopment Page for more information.

The Cumberland River Master Plan and introductory power points are worth downloading as well.

I hope UP members participate in the development of the plan.

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