The greening of Nashville

Didja see the article in the Tennessean about the green roof on the Westview condo building?

The roof of the downtown condominium building is eight stories up. But its 6,000 square feet are covered with plants, bushes and trees, all growing in a lightweight aggregate material.

Oddly, I was just talking about green roofing with my neighbor, a developer associated with projects such as the Werthan Lofts.

Even more oddly, we were also talking about the ways in which Nashville takes lessons from other cities, notably Portland, OR, and Chicago — both cities in which I’ve lived — and the ways in which it sometimes falls short of executing based on those lessons. (Such as with the new public square, which is, outside of the “green roof” effect of the parking garage, a development I respect for what it accomplished, but am underwhelmed by in other respects.) Anyway, the article also states:

Portland, Ore., was the first American city to embrace green roofs, but Chicago “pushed harder,” Berghage said.

The Portland-Nashville connection has been mentioned in the media a number of times in the past few years, most notably with the addition of Tom Turner, formerly of the Portland Business Alliance, to the Nashville Downtown Partnership, but also in other, more subtle ways, such as the LunchLINE trolley as a baby’s first step version of Portland’s Fareless Square.

Every little bit helps. I know it’s not everyone’s top priority, but improving the way we approach ecology in Nashville should have a positive impact on the quality of life of the community as a whole, not to mention the world at large.

If you think a green roof may be for you, here’s an overview that may be useful.

2 Comments so far

  1. saraclark (unregistered) on November 27th, 2006 @ 3:18 pm

    I think some credit should be given to Mike Berkely at Gro-Wild and Robert Wilson at Gum Tree Farm for providing the native plants for that green roof. Kudos to the developer for not going to the nearest big box retailer for plants, but chose local growers and native plants.


  2. Kate O' (unregistered) on November 27th, 2006 @ 3:21 pm

    Good point. Thanks for the addition.



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