Residents of Lexington, Kentucky’s Gardenside community are proud of being one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods, however the area was missing a true heart. Without a central civic node, residents felt disconnected. The Gardenside Neighborhood Association and Councilwoman Peggy Henson called on Gresham Smith to help identify the neighborhood’s current challenges and outline key areas for improvement. After a series of community workshops, our team identified four key areas of focus and recommended improvements, with the ultimate goal of earning grand funding for the projects.


Gardenside Neighborhood Association


Lexington, KY




voices heard citywide


charette groups


big ideas

But First, Focus Groups

But First, Focus Groups

The Gresham Smith project team began with a series of small focus groups and identified several common themes among the feedback from residents. First and foremost, we learned that the Gardenside community is proud of their diversity and would like to have more community events. We also observed that residents want to support local businesses, enjoy green space, support the community’s youth and use a variety of transportation options.
Putting Our Heads Together

Putting Our Heads Together

After identifying a handful of major themes, we conducted a bi-lingual community charette. We evaluated the community on a small scale, separating Gardenside into individual neighborhoods, shopping areas and parks to understand how residents live, work, play and shop.
The Big Ideas

The Big Ideas

From the information collected during the community charette, our project team identified four areas of focus and recommended improvement projects. First, while the community currently emphasizes car traffic, residents actually move around Lexington in a variety of ways. We recommended improvements to make it easier for people to walk, bike and take transit. We also provided ideas for improving cultural connectivity, such as multi-lingual business directories and progressive dinner tours, and suggested creating community space in one of the area’s large, empty parking lots. Last but not least, Gardenside has more than 50 acres of parks that are underutilized, so our team recommended taking advantage of the greenspace.


Project Contact

Our team is committed to improving the places we call home.

Bring genuine ingenuity to your community.

Louis R. Johnson, PLA, ASLA
Louis R. Johnson, PLA, ASLA
Executive Vice President