Mayor Karl Dean and other officials this morning announced that The Gulch has received the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development certification.
The district, pioneered by MarketStreet Enterprises, is one of two dozen neighborhoods in the world – and the first in the South – to receive the distinction since the program began in 2007. The developer applied for LEED's Silver status, and is the fourth neighborhood worldwide to get that.
“What this represents to me is the culmination of ideas regarding the environment and regarding how a city should develop,” Dean told the crowd assembled at the Watermark. “We have growth here, we have new urbanism, and we have green design.”
MarketStreet always intended to design The Gulch in the most sustainable way possible, according to Jay Turner, MarketStreet's managing director.
“This is just a recognition by the USGBC of what we've been doing all along, which is trying to create a sustainable community both environmentally and economically,” Turner told NashvillePost.com. “We literally didn't have to do anything different other than send out an application and we got certified because we're doing the right thing here.”
After the ceremony, Dean told NashvillePost.com his administration is interested in promoting more LEED-certified neighborhoods in the Nashville area.
“What we can do is partner with private developers and work with them to make the process for them easier, to help look at ways we can make areas more walkable and pedestrian-friendly, and we're happy to do that. I think the LEED certification is something we need to do everything we can to encourage.”