Case Study

Imagine Nashville

Economic Planning

Envisioning a city’s path forward to make neighborhoods great.


Imagine Nashville aimed to engage every corner of Davidson County’s 526 square miles to identify shared values, create a vision for Nashville based on those values, and create a pathway to address the most prescient priorities for residents.

Nashville has been one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country, but with rapid changes straining the quality of life for many, some are feeling left out and behind from the opportunities and benefits of living in Nashville.

Through the input of residents, experts, and leaders alike, Imagine Nashville set out on an extensive community engagement effort to reach clear and measurable recommendations for the region.


Our research connected with over 10,000 Nashvillians using a multi-step approach:

– Illumination Lab with the Imagine Nashville Committee followed by in-depth interviews with leaders across all sectors and 2023 mayoral candidates to identify an array of topics opportunities, and priorities for the research.

English and Spanish BrightBoards exploring benefits, problems, values, and priorities in the region, and youth workshops on priorities and outlook conducted in partnership with the Civic Design Center.

– Scientific survey of residents (online and telephone), followed up by a public survey (online and paper, with youth participation) in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic, to quantify importance and support of issue, visions, and priorities in the region.


We found Nashvillians value the sense of belonging that comes from living in vibrant neighborhoods that are connected to each other and the amazing amenities of Nashville.

Our work set a strategic pathway forward to achieve this vision:

1. Better manage growth so all Nashvillians thrive.

2. Improve public transportation options.

3. Increase housing attainability and availability.

4. Ensure education is preparing kids for the future.

5. Make sure every neighborhood is great by cultivating its unique character and integrating essential elements for safe and healthy living.