Achieving Built-Environment and Active Living Goals Through Music City Moves


      Nashville, Tennessee, formed Music City Moves (MCM), an interdisciplinary, countywide partnership to implement its vision for the community: a metropolitan region where routine physical activity is a fundamental part of daily life for all residents.


      Music City Moves' main focus was the pursuit of changes in community planning policies to help shape Nashville's built environment and facilitate walking and bicycling. To complement this focus, MCM developed a suite of health programs to support physical activity in high-risk populations and a countywide promotional campaign designed to increase awareness and get people active through event participation.


      Nashville made considerable strides in improving policies and regulations related to building and site design to improve the built environment for pedestrians and cyclists, including passage of (1) specific plan zoning; (2) revised subdivision regulations that introduced a “walkable subdivision” option for developers; and (3) a community-character manual that will guide future land-use planning. Programs and promotions have increased awareness and participation, and the Tour de Nash bike/walk event showcases yearly changes in the built environment.

      Lessons learned

      Political leadership has been critical to MCM's success. Leadership of the partnership by the planning department facilitated regulatory changes in planning policies.


      Music City Moves has accelerated Nashville's movement to improve the built environment and encourage active living. The beneficial impact of policy changes will continue to be manifested in coming years; however, ongoing political support and education of stakeholders in the planning process will be necessary to ensure that planning policies are fully implemented.
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        (Atlanta GA: USDHHS, CDC)
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        • U.S. Census Bureau
        • Nashville Metro Planning Department
        Detailed neighborhood design plan.
        • Nashville Metro Planning Department
        Specific Plan District Ordinance.
        • Nashville Metro Planning Department
        Subdivision regulations.