Follow by Email

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Benefits of Public Spaces - One Reason Why Nashville Needs Sidewalks That Connect…

Nashville has recently been described as an 'it' city by The New York Times.  

But, when people are polled on why they do not locate to Nashville, 3 consistent statements of concern arise:  

  1. Lack of walkability
  2. Concerns about quality of public schools
  3. Lack of public transportation options


One of the sad consequences of limited walkability in such a fun city such as Nashville is the minimization of random and spontaneous contact with interesting people and things.  

In a city with proper walkability, people are out and about to see and be seen.  Coming into contact with diversity is generative and exciting.  It promotes 'creative wealth' to borrow a phrase by David Engwicht, author of numerous books about urban planning and street reclamation.  

According to Engwicht, spontaneous street life  is 'a stimulus for creative wealth'…the economic well being of the entire city depends on its creative wealth.  New products, better products and smarter ways of doing business (plus, better songs?) all have their genesis in the creative life of the city.  Times change.  Economies change.  Cities that do not have a vibrant creative life lack adaptability and fossilize'.  

Also, 'our personal growth is dependent on this creative milieu.  Our exposure to diversity in the city is not always experienced as a pleasant stimulus.  The encounters with another person's world often collides head on with our own prejudices, beliefs and personal mythologies…every time our carefully crafted belief system is challenged, we are opened to the possibility of developing a new synthesis'.

Nashville's few sidewalks certainly need big shoulders to carry all this responsibility!  


Shade Parade is dedicated to a more walkable Nashville through well designed sidewalks. 

It is officially spring - so, put on your shoes and get outside!  The more people out walking - the more vibrant a walking culture in Nashville.  



  1. Hey Stacy. I saw the article in the Scene. I'm involved in local and state advocacy organizations. And yes, we do focus more on biking, only because we have trouble finding people that are passionate about walking advocacy. I'd love to get together with you some time and discuss how we can plug you in, if you're willing.

    1. Hi Pat ~

      Just wanted to make sure you received the comments below - let me know. Thanks, Stacy

  2. Hi Pat ~

    That would be great - I would be honored. I agree - when I started this project I was hoping to help someone else who was already embedded in helping Nashville become more walkable but I had a hard time finding that person…so, hence Shade Parade Nashville came to be.

    We are having a public meeting a week from today regarding our pilot project on Bowling Av at West End Middle School Library, 630p, 4/23. Any chance you can make it? We could talk there or set up another time if that doesn't work. Do you have Facebook - we may be able to message easier through it. Thanks and looking forward to it, Stacy