In 2007, the City of Lebanon was chosen as a pilot community by the AIA (American Institute of Architects) and Cumberland Region Tomorrow for a “Blueprint for America -- Visioning Workshop”. The Blueprint for America Grant, a nationwide community service initiative, celebrates the AIA 150 years of service to the profession and nation by working to create a better future by design.
Middle TN chapter of the AIA partnered with the Nashville Civic Design
Center and Cumberland Region Tomorrow in applying for a grant that would
create a vision for quality growth in Middle TN.
The vision for the
City of Lebanon centered on our historic town centers. The Middle TN
chapter of the AIA, and therefore we the City of Lebanon, were one of
156 communities across the nation to receive this grant opportunity.
The City of Lebanon was selected to participate in this exciting visioning workshop based on our great potential for Transit Oriented Development around the Music City Star Station. As the outlying hub for the first commuter rail transportation line into downtown Nashville, great potential exists in a plan to guide future development to support access to nearby commuter rail services and revitalization of downtown and nearby neighborhoods.
The workshop was held in August of 2007, with more than 100 people in attendance. The City of Lebanon was extremely fortunate to have as resources a panel of architects who specialize in Transit Oriented Development and Historic Town Center Redevelopment. The Blueprint workshop was the first step in what is intended to lead toward a comprehensive growth strategy for core areas of Lebanon. It is important for the community to have a vision that will serve as a guide as we face the inevitable growth which continues to come to our community.
The two-day workshop included the viewing of a public television documentary “Save our Land, Save our Towns”, small group discussions of our community’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, a presentation on Transit Oriented Development, and small group visioning or brainstorming sessions, wrapping up with a ranking of ideas for further study and implementation.
In early 2008, an Advisory Committee was formed to further refine the ideas presented at the visioning workshop. This committee is charged with providing an action-oriented report that will serve as a guide for decision-making and future spending priorities in the areas around the Square and the commuter rail station. The committee hopes to undertake a partnership project with Cumberland University to investigate the economics of our Square, Transit Oriented Development and revitalization. In addition, they are looking to partner with the University of Tennessee - School of Architecture on a design project around the commuter rail station. As part of this process, the committee will be visiting the cities of Gallatin, Springfield, Columbia and Franklin, to learn what each of these communities are doing relative to revitalization of their downtown, the process they used and how the various projects were funded. The committee reiterated the desire expressed during the two-day workshop held in August of 2007 to continue to make the City of Lebanon a livable city, instill a sense of pride in our community and not lose our identity or unique character.
For more information regarding the Blueprint workshop, an update on the progress of the Advisory Committee, or anything else related to this project, contact Paul Corder, City of Lebanon Planning Director.