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Re-Imagining a Neighborhood

Vanderbilt University West End Neighborhood Beautification

Nashville, TN

The West End Neighborhood Beautification project was a reinvention of a car-centered suburban-style Greek neighborhood into a walkable destination for everyone on campus. The new plan coordinated the 18 existing fraternity and sorority houses, a utility project that cut through the middle of the neighborhood and rerouted all the electrical underground, the construction of three new residential colleges to along the north edge of the neighborhood, whose completion was reliant on the utility project and six new houses.

The project was able to provide an accessible path across the neighborhood, connecting the university gym and stadium to the historic core, as well as to the front door of each house. A new common green reclaims the parking space in the center in the center of the neighborhood. Existing roads were all transformed into pedestrian paths that can double as tailgating areas and drivable surfaces for move-in and move-out demands. The university walk/bike path connects across the neighborhood and to a new transit stop and turn around designed as part of the south edge of the neighborhood. The removal of the asphalt and the use of permeable pavers resulted in a 20% reduction of previous surfaces in the neighborhood.

The project team held multiple campus visioning sessions to gather feedback from the student body on the plan as well as group and individual meetings with each of the organizations throughout the neighborhood to help them understand how the plan affected them.