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West End Neighborhood transforms with new green spaces

Sep. 24, 2019, 8:35 PM

The newly transformed Green and Kensington Promenade now feature fresh landscaping as well as pedestrian and bike-friendly pathways. (Vanderbilt University)
The newly transformed Green and Kensington Promenade in the West End Neighborhood create a welcoming environment for the Vanderbilt community. (Vanderbilt University)

by Shelby Pendowski

The Vanderbilt community can now enjoy new green spaces in the West End Neighborhood following a year of construction in the area.

"Before" photo of West End Neighborhood. (Vanderbilt University
Photo of the West End Neighborhood before construction. (Vanderbilt University

Once covered with asphalt and concrete, the newly transformed Green and Kensington Promenade now feature fresh landscaping as well as pedestrian- and bike-friendly pathways, creating a welcoming environment for the Vanderbilt community.

“The West End Neighborhood project is just one example of how Vanderbilt is implementing the FutureVU initiative,” Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Facilities Officer Mike Perez said. “The opening of the Green and the new Kensington Promenade is just one step in completing our overall vision for the West End Neighborhood and gives the community a glimpse of what the campus will look like in the future.”

"After" photo of the Green in the transformed West End Neighborhood. (Vanderbilt University)
The Green in the newly transformed West End Neighborhood. (Vanderbilt University)

The Green features tiers of grassy areas ideal for studying, relaxing and hosting outdoor student gatherings. The former Kensington Avenue, now known as the Kensington Promenade, is no longer open to vehicular traffic and instead will enhance pedestrian traffic, with accessible paths connecting the main campus to 25th Avenue and buildings such as the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt bookstore.

As part of Vanderbilt’s Academic Strategic Plan and in alignment with the FutureVU initiative, the project aims to create a more park-like setting in the West End Neighborhood while respecting Vanderbilt’s historic identity.

The Kensington Promenade in the West End Neighborhood. (Vanderbilt University)
The former Kensington Avenue, now closed to vehicle traffic, has been renamed the Kensington Promenade. (Vanderbilt University)

“With every project we think about how we can make the space more inclusive and accessible for the community,” University Architect and Director of Campus Planning and Construction Keith Loiseau said. “The redesign of these areas in the West End Neighborhood aligns with the university’s Academic Strategic Plan and makes the neighborhood more inviting to the community.”

With these improvements in the West End Neighborhood came the permanent closure of 24th Avenue on campus. Similar to the renovation of the Green and the Kensington Promenade, over the next year the former 24th Avenue will transform into a greenway to reduce vehicular traffic and promote connectivity within the campus community.

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