Kaid Benfield is the director of the Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and co-founder of Smart Growth America.
A 6.5-acre, nature-inspired space opens as part of the city's riverfront revitalization plan.
Bridgette Meinhold writes in Inhabitat that Nashville's Cumberland Park, along the Cumberland River, has transformed a former "wasteland" into "a 6.5-acre park filled with nature-inspired play spaces that get kids and parents moving." It's certainly photogenic, and incorporates state-of-the-art green features. Meinhold describes some of them:
"As part of the project, Hargreaves Associates incorporated adaptive reuse, renewable geo-thermal energy use, efficient-lighting, floodplain preservation and storage, brownfield remediation, water harvesting for irrigation, and improved biodiversity in the area. Each year, 1,000,000 gallons of stormwater is captured and reused for irrigation and over 1.6 acres of meadow and riparian grasses were restored."
(Unfortunately the park, which opened on April 15, had to be closed for a few days shortly thereafter for repairs to defects in its climbing wall, which resulted in an injury. Not the best of starts. But one expects that its contributions to the city will be long-lasting.)
This post originally appeared on the NRDC's Switchboard blog.