After meeting regularly for nearly a year, the Green Ribbon Committee this afternoon presented a robust list of goals and recommendations to Mayor Karl Dean to meet his charge of making Nashville the greenest city in the Southeast.
The goals range from topics like conserving energy to improving mass transportation to building a culture of sustainability. The group wants the region to cut its energy use by a fifth between now and 2020 as well as provide each citizen with "two modes of available and accessible transportation."
The committee, chaired by Lipscomb President Dr. Randy Lowry and Ingram Industries Chairman John Ingram, listed 16 goals divided into 71 recommendations for how to make Nashville a greener city.
Caught in the tail end of a difficult budget cycle, Dean admitted some of the recommendations would be difficult to achieve. But he said it was possible the quick-win recommendations would be implemented sooner rather than later.
“I still think we can implement a lot of the recommendations,” Dean said. “The committee did a wonderful job of identifying what I call low-hanging fruit. Things that can be done with low cost or with current resources.”
Dean’s office is already moving forward with some of the recommendations. The committee recommended implementing direct funding for stormwater maintenance. Dean’s administration already approved a stormwater fee last month.
The committee focused on improving mass transportation options, as well, which Dean has already supported. Dean used Thursday’s announcement to encourage support for state legislation to enable dedicated funding for mass transit.
“I want to be the greenest city in the southeast,” Dean said. “You’ve got to set high goals. When you set high goals, you create expectations to see if you measure up to them and that’s what I’d love to see for our city.”
Among the long-term goals of the committee are building an outdoor classroom area for each Metro school and creating a smart-growth task force to incorporate sustainable design practices into Metro codes.
Click here for the full executive summary, including the recommendations. Also check back for updates.