Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

Major Professor

Bradford P. Collett

Committee Members

Thomas K. Davis, Avigail Sachs


Transportation modes have historically influenced forms of growth. The personal automobile has perhaps had the most impact, producing a form of development known as sprawl. This unplanned form of development has become a predominate pattern of growth in many parts of America, which has brought about a number of social, economic, and environmental challenges. In addition to these challenges, sprawl often produces amebic forms without clearly defined centers. Instead, sprawl typically consists of low-density development, single-use zoning, and wide roads. This creates an environment that is almost exclusively designed for vehicles and dangerous for pedestrians. Because sprawl usually lacks an identifiable communal center, it can be challenging to distinguish one place from another in the city.

Shifting to mass transit allows for other growth patterns which may potentially reduce or overcome these negative impacts. One alternative growth pattern is transit-oriented development (TOD). TODs are compact, high-density, walkable, mixed-use centers in greenfields or as redevelopment of existing under utilized properties near existing or proposed transit stops or corridors. This thesis proposes a TOD in the Donelson community of Nashville, Tennessee, to demonstrate some of the advantages of TOD compared to sprawl and to establish an identifiable center for Donelson.

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