Vanderbilt poll shows people in Nashville think the city is 'headed in the wrong track'

downtown nashville
Posted at 9:55 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 23:16:47-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Could it be that the 'It City' is losing its shine?

According to a Vanderbilt University Poll — that gauges people's perception of their local government — 53% of people think Nashville is headed in the wrong direction.

Vanderbilt has been doing the poll since 2015. This year for the first time, a majority of Nashvillians said the city is off-track.

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53% of people surveyed as part of a Vanderbilt Poll said the city is headed in the wrong direction.

Josh Clinton, professor of political science, and co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll, said the city's rapid growth has some people feeling overwhelmed.

"Being the 'it city' was cool 10 years ago, and maybe even five years ago, but I think people are getting a little tired of that and they're over it. And so they kind of want to go back to being the 'un-it' city," he said.

The poll surveyed around 1,000 people. Researchers said the results hopefully give politicians a starting point, but say they should be taken with a grain of salt.

No matter where you're at North, East, West, South. The same thing is on people's minds.

"It feels like a lot of lower-income families are being excluded in the new vision of Nashville," said co-owner of Solberg Studios Daniel Cid.

Nashville's growth is undeniable, but for many people, it's no longer sustainable.

"We're seeing more and more people don't like the number of people, the changes that they are seeing in the city in terms of the amount of construction, kind of the number of the population coming into the city," Clinton said.

People said they want to see neighborhoods in Nashville preserved.

"It's great to build infrastructure, establish stuff and look to the future, but sometimes you have to look and ask and value people who've been here since day one," Cid said.

In the poll, people gave Mayor John Cooper high approval ratings, while ratings for city council, school board, and police department all dropped.