Location: Franklin, Tennessee, USA
Project Categories: Urbanism
Year Started: 2000
Status: Built
Size: 1530 acres
Website: www.westhaventn.com

The site proposed for development by Southern Land Company consists of approximately 1,543 acres located along Highway 96, directly west of Franklin, Tennessee. The underlying premise of Westhaven is that man and nature can co-exist to the mutual benefit of each, provided that the pattern of habitation follows a traditional system of compact and walkable mixed-use settlements set apart in a natural landscape. The design combines town planning and environmental principles to achieve this harmonious vision.

West haven is carefully configured to minimize the need for residents to travel off-site to meet daily necessities. The balance of housing to jobs and retail is determined by regional density averages and parking requirements. The resulting formula determines a square footage of non-residential use required by a specific number of housing units. The calculations for Westhaven yield 2,596 units and an accompanying 550,000 square feet of support commercial. While initially many residents of the young community may need to be attached to the external job bases of Franklin and Nashville, as the development phases progress, office and retail space will grow to meet the needs of the town. When complete, Westhaven will provide many of its residents with housing, jobs, shopping, entertainment, and civic institutions, all within walking or extremely short driving distances.

The site is divided into five neighborhoods, each approximately one-half mile across to correspond to a five-minute pedestrian shed from edge to center. Each neighborhood has its figural center, an open space reserved for public use and surrounded by higher density housing and mixed-use buildings. These centers will serve as the main gathering points for the community.

The neighborhoods are defined by a system of greenways, playing fields, parks, and squares, comprising approximately 800 acres in total. This open space system is shaped by the existing streams on the site and is gradated for different intensities of human use, from the mostly undisturbed nature corridor to the most urbanized town square. The road network, too, corresponds to the variations in the site’s topography. Street intersections meet at triangular greens or acute angles in order to avoid massive regrading and the unnecessary removal of mature trees. Additional pocket parks and open spaces are distributed throughout the plan, and bicycle and equestrian trails wind through the greenway.

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