Mayor Cooper Releases Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan

Metro Departments and Community Stakeholders Collaborate on Draft Roadmap to Prepare Nashville for Climate Impacts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor John Cooper today released a draft Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CARP) that identifies strategies for preparing the city for impacts resulting from a changing climate. The community is encouraged to review the draft CARP and provide feedback via online survey through October 31.

CARP builds upon prior planning efforts and engaged more than 50 Metro departments and hundreds of community stakeholders during development. The plan represents the city’s first effort to approach the climate crisis from a stance of resilience and is intended to inform future Metro investments and programs.

“We have all witnessed many recent extreme weather events that resulted in loss of life and have wreaked havoc on Nashville’s infrastructure and communities,” said Mayor Cooper. “We recognize that the earth’s climate has already changed, and, while we will continue to work tirelessly toward our zero emission goals, it is time to adapt and prepare for the inevitable impacts that will challenge our way of life.”

CARP sets forth a wealth of strategies to strengthen and prepare Nashville’s infrastructure, community and culture, natural environment, economy, and public safety systems so that the city is better positioned to withstand, recover from, and thrive in spite of climate events. In its prioritization of Nashville’s people, it recognizes that inequality of access to opportunities, resources, and a healthy environment has placed a disproportionate burden on many communities and requires targeted intervention and correction of historic wrongs.

Strategies are organized under four overarching goals:

  1. Ensure Nashville is equitable, safe, accessible, and affordable for all residents in the context of a changing climate.
  2. Improve and protect public infrastructure and services from growing climate risks.
    Protect and preserve nature for future generations.
  3. Make climate resilience a standard operating procedure for Metro Government.
  4. As a living document, the plan is to be reviewed and updated annually to ensure it addresses the city’s most urgent needs and challenges.

“It’s exciting to see our city take steps to build resilience into operations and across the community,” said Dr. Janey Camp, Research Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Director of Vanderbilt Engineering’s Center for Transportation and Operational Resiliency (VECTOR), and member of Mayor Cooper’s 2021 Sustainability Advisory Committee. “Identifying Nashville’s key risk areas, vulnerabilities, and corresponding adaptation strategies will improve the ability of the city and its partners to make informed decisions toward improved resilience for all our residents.”

“It is hugely important in building a sustainable and resilient Nashville that no one is left behind as we adapt to a changing climate,” said Jaclyn Mothupi, Director of Social Innovation at the Wond’ry at Vanderbilt and member of Mayor Cooper’s 2021 Sustainability Advisory Committee. “I have great hope that we will continue to innovate, and this Plan puts us on the path to becoming a stronger and more resilient city.”

CARP is a companion document to the Sustainability Advisory Committee’s 2021 Climate Action Plan, which focused on efforts to reduce harmful emissions that contribute to climate change. CARP is being released together with an internal Climate Resiliency Toolkit that provides knowledge and tools to help Metro departments reduce their environmental impacts and improve readiness and resiliency. Together, these resources equip Nashville to execute mitigation and adaptation commitments under the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.

Sustainability accomplishments during Mayor Cooper’s administration include:

  • A streetlight upgrade that will save Nashville $20 million in energy costs and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 36,000 metric tons over the next 10 years.
  • An assessment of costs and benefits of installing solar on Metro sites, which identified an estimated $79 million in potential cost savings across 235 metro-owned properties.
  • Addition of renewable energy generation producing 93,948,000 kWh annually, which represents a 9,584% increase from 2019 and supports Metro’s compliance with its renewable portfolio standard.
  • Establishing an “Energy Savings Program” and annual benchmarking to improve operational and energy efficiency of Metro facilities.
  • Launching a local C-PACER program to unlock low-interest and long-term financing for sustainable and resilient commercial development.
  • Creating the Root Nashville campaign to plant 500,000 trees by 2050 and a dedicated revenue stream to support tree canopy restoration and maintenance on private properties, extending stewardship of natural resources across the community.
  • Increasing frequency of curbside recycling collection from once per month to once every other week.
  • Establishing a Sustainability Advisory Committee in Metro Code to replace the current ad hoc sustainability committee.
  • Engaging in a heat mapping campaign and developing a heat story map that identifies where Nashville’s most heat vulnerable communities are.
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