Nashville’s Resilience Journey
Nashville is projected to grow by 186,000 residents and 326,000 jobs in the next 25 years, reshaping the demographic and economic landscape of the city. Increasing diversity will require efforts to build social cohesion between new and existing communities. Emerging industries in the city increasingly require advanced skills, but only 32% of residents have a college degree or higher. The city seeks to develop citizens’ workplace skills and align new talent with emerging sectors.
Nashville’s population surge strains a more densely built environment that is more vulnerable to rainfall flooding. The largest waterway and receiving stream for surface runoff in the county, the Cumberland River, is meters away from Nashville’s thriving downtown economic hub. Flooding is estimated to cost the city in excess of $132 million annually in damage and disruption to business. Flood events also impact critical infrastructure including water supply, transportation, energy, and communication systems. Nashville has coordinated past responses through an Emergency Operations Center and opened emergency shelters to house residents displaced by flooding.
Mary Beth Ikard
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