Open spaces are a key part of the urban environment, and Downtown benefits from a number of quality parks and plazas. The 1990 plan calls for these open spaces to “be intentionally designed and located for clearly understood purposes and uses. Founders Square is designed to form a central place adjoining the Cathedral of the Assumption and surrounding developments. Jefferson Square acts as a transition among the government buildings. Fort Nelson Park is a small park on West Main Street designed to fit the character of the historic district while still remaining a pleasant gathering space, and Aegon Plaza is the largest open space in the central core of Downtown, welcoming visitors from the neighboring Convention Center and Downtown employees alike. With the exception of Waterfront Park, the Belvedere is the largest open space Downtown. Its seven acres are connected to Main St., Waterfront Park, the Kentucky Center and overlook the Ohio River. It is a prime location for festivals and events too large for the smaller plazas throughout Downtown, but not large enough to move to Waterfront Park.
Downtown is at the forefront of sustainable development. It is often said that the greenest building is the one already built. Many developers downtown have taken special care when reusing buildings to add green and sustainable features. At the forefront is The Green Building. The Green Building is 110 years old and has obtained LEED Platinum certification. The mixed used space has helped show what is possible when making historic structures sustainable. Fifteen other buildings downtown also obtained a LEED certification or registration. This includes new construction, such as the University of Louisville’s new medical research center, one of the few LEED university research centers in the country. Additionally, a number of buildings have made green improvements without seeking the LEED certification, notably, the KFC Yum! Center.
Green roofs have also begun to be implemented Downtown. The American Life Building, a Mies van de Rohe design, was recently retrofitted with an advanced green roof that helps cool the building in the summer, maintain heat in the winter and capture storm water. Louisville Metro is also pioneering green roofs in public sector. The Metro Development Center, a former parking garage, also has a green roof.
For information on Louisville Metro Government’s green initiatives please visit the Louisville Metro's Office of Sustainability website.
Downtown is committed to sustainability through preservation, land development and business practices as a way to be good stewards of our city and foster economic development.
Business Paper Recycling Program
Louisville Metro offers Downtown businesses the opportunity to participate in a paper recycling program. Money generated from the program goes towards planting new trees.
Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD)
MSD is partnering with public and private infrastructure projects to better manage storm water. Money is available to help with green and sustainable upgrades such as: bio-swales, green roofs and pervious pavers.
Louisville Metro Office of Sustainability
To see what Louisville Metro Government is doing to promote sustainability and find a list of the programs and information offered by Louisville Metro, visit their Office of Sustainability website.