Dr. Jenna Lamphere discusses the history of Knoxville’s Green Economy

Dr. Jenna Lamphere discussed the history behind Knoxville’s green economy development on Nov. 30.

Credit: Kelly Fallon

On Nov. 30, 2016 UT hosted a discussion held by Dr. Jenna Lamphere about the history of Knoxville’s green economy.

According to Lamphere, Knoxville is “one of the leading cities in sustainability.”

The green wave for Knoxville started in 2007 when the city applied for the DOE Solar American city grant. Then, in 2008 the Energy and Sustainability Taskforce was created.

Due to the progression of the green economy, Knoxville was the first city to recover from the 2008 recession. “Knoxville is leading by example,” Lamphere explained.

From 2009-2011, Knoxville received $12.2 million in ARRA funding. Also during this time, Knoxville accepted a challenge brought up by President Barack Obama, sent out to all American cities to reduce city emissions by 20 percent.

From 2012-2014, Knoxville participated in the WWF Earth City challenge and participated in the voluntary adoption of the 2012 international green construction code.

Knoxville was then awarded the $400,000 IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant.

Knoxville is setting the standards for cities everywhere from being an attractive spot for retirees, a booming place for millennials to attend college and now a city creating thousands of new jobs in the green field, according to Lamphere.

With over 16,000 green jobs, Knoxville is the fastest growing city for these kind of careers and is an inspiration to many other surrounding cities, according to Lamphere. People working these jobs are making anywhere between $40,000 and $45,000 a year.

“I think it is so awesome that I live and go to a school in a city that is making such a great impact on our future” said UT student, Sarah Elwood.

Knoxville is working to create a more sustainable city, one where the economy is booming, the environment is clean and the community is thriving.

Featured Image by Kelly Fallon

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo