Green Living in Nashville

The city turns a run-down warehouse district into an upscale eco-neighborhood

2 min read

Nashville surely has more musicians than environmentalists. But last year, the Tennessee city became the first in the southern United States to have an internationally recognized green neighborhood.

The city’s once-dilapidated downtown industrial zone—24 hectares known as the Gulch—is one of 55 places (as of the end of 2009) in the world awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) certification for smart growth, new urbanism, and green building.

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This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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