NashvilleNext gives residents ability to set city’s priorities

NashvilleNext gives residents ability to set city's priorities (Image 1)

City planners want to know what's next for Nashville, and they're asking the public for help.

NashvilleNext is an effort to create a plan to guide the future of the city.

The five-step process relies heavily on public input to determine the direction of the city for the next 25 years, essentially making each participant a “NashvilleNext Mayor.”

“There are a lot of places where they would just write up the plan and drop it on the community and say, 'Here it is,'” said Craig Owensby, Public Information Officer for Metro Planning Department.

He continued, “That's not how we do it. We start with the community, start with input, start with some guidance from the people of Nashville and Davidson County, and build it up from there.”

NashvilleNext has its own promotional video, Web site and Facebook page.

Ideas from the public are being gathered through open forums, community surveys, photo sharing and online chats.

So far, the ideas have been positive and widespread and some of the most prevalent deal with parks, sidewalks and schools.

“The important thing to take away from this whole process right now is that everyone is welcome,” Owensby said. “Everybody is invited. Everybody has a say in this and you don't have to come to a meeting in person to be heard. We have several online tools. We have a phone line to call and leave a message. We're all about reaching out.”

A series of public meetings begin this week and run through July as part of the second step in the NashvilleNext process.

Owensby told Nashville's News 2 the goal of the meetings is to narrow down the ideas into something doable.

Mapping future growth will begin in the fall, with policy decisions and plan adoption scheduled over the next two years. The final plan will take effect in 2015 and carry the city through 2040.

The first public meeting for NashvilleNext is Monday, July 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Casa Azafran on Nolensville Pike.

To find a meeting near you or to learn more about NashvilleNext, visit the Nashville government Web site.

To find a meeting near you or to learn more about NashvilleNext, visit Nashville government Web site.

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