Professors, graduates called on to help frame Nashville's future in city's NashvilleNext

On 5/18/2013

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Professors, graduates called on to help frame Nashville's sustainable future in city's NashvilleNext

As the city of Nashville begins a historic process of planning for the next 25 years, it has come to several Lipscomb University professors and graduates to help in the community engagement process guiding the city’s long-term planning for 2040.

College of Education Dean Candice McQueen and Institute for Sustainable Practice Executive Director Dodd Galbreath were called upon to write background reports on their respective expertise areas, and Colby Sledge and Stephanie McCullough, graduates of the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership, are involved in the community engagement portions of the initiative.

NashvilleNext ( is a community-driven process for creating a countywide plan which will guide Metro Nashville through 2040. 

“The last time we updated the plan was in 1992, so it’s time to start thinking big picture and big future again,” said Jennifer Carlat, assistant director of planning at the Metro Nashville Davidson County Planning Department. “But it’s never been updated with this level of community involvement.”

Dodd Galbreath’s background report, co-written by Tom McCormick of Sustainable Tennessee, explores where the city is now in terms of readiness for climate change and extreme weather changes. Galbreath’s report was posted on March 25, in conjunction with speaker Doug Farr, president/CEO or Farr Associates, who spoke on“Environment: Sustainable Urbanism and Community Livability.”

McCormack is an expert on hazard adaptation and Galbreath brought an expertise in sustainability. The way the city can be prepared for more hazardous weather events – like the 2010 flood – is by promoting sustainable development, said Carlat, summarizing the report.

"Extreme heat and floods are the new normal. It is therefore prudent that Nashville prepare for what is already worse than we've known before," said Galbreath. “Many cities that are ready for the new normal have restored nature to eliminate or lessen floods and heat. Local energy is being made from endless sources, and food is grown and distributed closer to home. These communities thrive economically and socially and are the new standard."

All the NashvilleNext reports can be found here, along with links to online discussion boards and the ability to e-mail in your comments on each report. Upcoming topics explored in the NashvilleNEXT speaker series include regional partnerships on May 6. To see details on the NashvilleNext speaker series and planning process, go to