Nashville Unveils Ideas To Become ‘Greenest’ City In Southeast — Like Planting 500,000 Trees | Nashville Public Radio

Nashville Unveils Ideas To Become ‘Greenest’ City In Southeast — Like Planting 500,000 Trees

Feb 8, 2017

To become the “greenest city in the Southeast” — as Mayor Megan Barry says it — Nashville will need to increase recycling, add solar panels atop government buildings, and plant 500,000 trees.

And those are just three of 25 goals shared on Tuesday by the mayor’s Livable Nashville Committee, which first assembled nine months ago.

Metro has set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent across the county (as produced by government agencies, residents and local businesses), and a raft of other environmental health targets.

A commitment to quantifiable progress runs through the recommendations, with the first deadline set at 2020 and more ambitious plans charted out as far as 2050. That's when Metro would like to eliminate the use of landfills.

For example of how Nashville will measure change, consider the current landfill usage. As it stands, 24 percent of the city’s waste avoids the landfill through reuse, recycling or composting programs. The new plan wants to move that to 35 percent diversion in the next three years.

Among other goals:

  • increase the number of waterways that meet Clean Water Act standards;
  • commit less land to paved parking lots, and;
  • grow Metro’s use of electric and alternative-fuel vehicles in its government fleet.

The recommendations also include street-level tactics, like an early discussion of how Nashville might cut back on plastic shopping bags, and a potential public awareness campaign to encourage drivers to idle their cars less often while waiting in parking lots and at schools.

The full report can be viewed here: Livable Nashville Committee recommendations.