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Crafting the Vision

An engaging, evolving, and comprehensive process

A map of the vision for campus outlined in the FutureVU land use plan.
A map of the vision for campus outlined in the FutureVU land use plan

Foundation of Strategic Planning

The evolution of the MoveVU Plan first began in November 2015, with the launch of FutureVU. FutureVU began as a comprehensive land use planning effort and since then has evolved into an holistic planning process focused on developing the spaces on campus and investing in the initiatives that support the people who live, work and learn in them. FutureVU continues to be driven by and embodies the university’s core values and holistic approach to Vanderbilt’s teaching, research and service mission. As part of the FutureVU process, Chancellor Emeritus Nicholas S. Zeppos and Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain held a town hall meeting with the VU community in late October 2016 to discuss transportation and mobility, which are key enablers to realizing the FutureVU vision. They also invited members of the VU community to participate in a series of working groups comprised of students, faculty, and staff.

More than ninety individuals (faculty, staff and students) signed up to participate in the Transportation Working Groups. Six working groups were convened and met regularly from November 2016 throughout the spring semester of 2017.

The working groups were tasked with identifying mobility and transportation strategies for the university in the following areas:

  • Metropolitan Transit Authority / Regional Transportation Authority (MTA/RTA) bus and train adjustments to better service Vanderbilt
  • Vanderbilt shuttle opportunities
  • Expansion of Uber and Lyft opportunities on campus
  • Expansion of on-campus biking infrastructure and bike programs
  • Potential alternative work arrangements
  • Vanpools, carpools and other partnerships

Each working group was led by a VU faculty and/or staff member and resulted in the submission of recommendations at the end of April 2017.

MoveVU Collaboration 

The MoveVU Implementation Plan was built on this past engagement, as well as a unique collaboration with faculty, administrators, students, and staff throughout 2018. In May 2018, a consultant team was chosen, and a Working Group was convened by Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain to assist with scoping, guiding, and informing the MoveVU Plan process.

This began a seven-month process of close collaboration and engagement with a variety of Vanderbilt stakeholders with the objective of identifying synergies between current and ongoing initiatives and MoveVU Plan development. Strategic collaboration was meant to ensure that MoveVU properly advances the previous work completed, including the recommendations from the FutureVU Transportation Working Groups, and develops strategies that meet additional university initiatives. A summary of the stakeholder collaboration conducted as part of the process is included below.

Faculty Leadership 

Collaboration with faculty leaders was a central part of the MoveVU Implementation Plan process. Mark Abkowitz, Craig Philip, Dan Work, and other faculty members were integral to the process. These talented faculty members enriched the process with the knowledge they brought through their involvement in Vanderbilt’s successful Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant application, and their ongoing work leveraging big data to understand and improve transportation experiences at Vanderbilt and beyond. 

Undergraduate Students 

Understanding the perspective, challenges, and desires of Vanderbilt students related to parking, transportation, and accessibility was a key element of the MoveVU Implementation Plan. The project team met with members of the Dean of Students team, as well as members of the Vanderbilt Student Government throughout the process. The university is committed to expanding mobility options for students to travel around campus and to and from destinations off-campus.

Regional Stakeholders 

The project team held several strategic planning meetings with regional stakeholders throughout the MoveVU Implementation Plan process, including the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Metro Nashville Planning and Public Works, and the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority. The purpose of these meetings was to update regional stakeholders on the goals and process of the MoveVU Implementation Plan, learn about ongoing transportation initiatives in the region, and identify opportunities for synergy where the city and Vanderbilt University can work together to achieve common multi-modal mobility, accessibility, and congestion mitigation goals.

Mobility Expo 

An important milestone in the MoveVU Implementation Plan process was the FutureVU Mobility Expo held on November 6 at the Wond’ry. The event was hosted by the Division of Administration and included appearances by Chancellor Emeritus Nicholas S. Zeppos, former Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer, and Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain. The Mobility Expo included information from WeGo, bike and scooter safety information, a display on transportation research conducted by Vanderbilt faculty, information about ongoing campus sustainability and building projects, and the public launch of the MoveVU Implementation Plan.