Archive for September, 2006

by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 29th, 2006 7:04pm CDT | Comments Off on The Mid-South Fair Can’t Just Be Fair Any More

With the impending approval by the board of directors to hire former county mayor Jim Rout as head of the Mid-South Fair, the organization seems to see a future more shaped by politics than event management. It’s a shift in direction, because traditionally, the board has hired people with experience in running these kinds of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 28th, 2006 5:10pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week’s Smart City: Looking to the Future

What happens when a dying town’s civic leaders decide they have to change the way their citizens think about the future? If you’re Linz, Austria, you create Ars Electronica. Its artistic director, Gerfried Stocker, is here to tell us the amazing story of the impact the festival and the projects it has spawned have had […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 26th, 2006 9:21pm CDT | Comments Off on Changing The Conversation About The Economy Is First Step In Changing the Economy Itself

Memphis doesn’t have to look outside its own city limits to find one of the nation’s leading economic development strategies. It’s taking shape at Union and Dudley in the form of the UT-Baptist Research Park, according to Kip Bergstrom, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council. Memphis Bioworks Foundation – which is building […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 23rd, 2006 7:19am CDT | Comments Off on How To Reform Zoning And Government In One Fell Swoop

Reform. It’s one of those words used so often by politicians that it’s almost lost all meaning. It’s right up there with world-class, state-of-the-art, public-private partnership, new paradigm, and summit. For once, reform is precisely the right word to describe the new development code now being written for Memphis and Shelby County. That’s because the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 22nd, 2006 11:07pm CDT | Comments Off on Now Let’s Get Honest About The Music Commission

We appreciate the tendencies of people to defend the efforts of the Music Commission aka Music Foundation for the past few years, but let’s be honest, the results are meager at best. Today, The Commercial Appeal reported the worst-kept secret in Memphis – Commission president Rey Flemings has resigned. So, can we direct your attention […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 22nd, 2006 2:30pm CDT | Comments Off on How A City Can Be Hip In Six Easy Lessons

A commentary by Otis White – weekly regular on Smart City – for Governing magazine: You know hip when you see it in Coconut Grove in Miami, Buckhead in Atlanta or LoDo in Denver. But what does hip look like in Harrisburg, Pa.? OK, probably not South Beach cool, but some of the elements that […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 21st, 2006 5:31pm CDT | Comments Off on Talking About Top City Destinations and Making Cities Good Places To Live: This Week on Smart City

Keith Bellows may have the best job in America. He’s editor in chief of National Geographic Traveler and this week he’ll tell us about the must see cities on his list of top destinations. And we’ll talk about the land use policies that make cities good places to live with Keith Schneider of the Michigan […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 20th, 2006 6:46pm CDT | Comments Off on An Opportune Time To Relaunch The Music Commission

Whether the president of the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission and its shadow group, the Memphis Music Foundation, has resigned or not seems to depend largely to whom you are talking. Then again, regardless of who’s at the helm of the music organizations, it’s time to relaunch them, and that work begins by building […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 18th, 2006 6:23pm CDT | Comments Off on It’s Business As Usual For "One Of The Best School Systems In The World"

Shelby County Schools Board chairman David Pickler must have graduated from the George Bush school of self-awareness. He too has a formidable talent for leveling criticisms of others that so clearly apply to himself. It’s a remarkable gift to have as a politician – the ability to look right into someone’s eyes and engage in […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 17th, 2006 11:25pm CDT | Comments Off on Pondering A Few Unrelated Questions

We’ve never visited a city such a penchant for the electrical/mechanical “tombstones” that dot the landscape as Memphis. They mar Tom Lee Park, they clutter up downtown corners and they create a bit of visual pollution that seems ever-present. Wouldn’t it improve things if they are used in a creative public art project that treats […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 15th, 2006 3:33pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Design Is Ascendant

Design is ascendant, and today we will celebrate it by talking with Dr. Larry Thompson, president of Ringling School of Art and Design. Larry is staging the Sarasota International Design Summit October 9-11. Prior to coming to Ringling, Larry was the first president and CEO of the Flint Cultural Center located in Flint, Michigan, and […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 13th, 2006 10:49pm CDT | Comments Off on Casting For A Better Future In Economic Development Depends On Casting Off The Past

We subscribe to a John Calipari theory of economic development – it’s all about talent – and a Fred Smith model of public investment – it’s all about entrepreneurship. Everything else is pretty much a distraction. Memphis needs a new strategy for economic growth, and we begin by casting off our traditional economic development thinking, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 11th, 2006 8:14pm CDT | Comments Off on Trying To Make Sense Out Of Federal Court Sentencing

Former County Commissioner Michael Hooks and former State Senator and county mayor’s aide Roscoe Dixon have now entered the Byzantine world of federal sentencing, and the different points of entry into that system – the former by guilty plea and the latter by jury conviction – will now become a major factor in their ultimate […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 11th, 2006 10:16am CDT | Comments Off on A Fitting Way To Observe 9/11

Memphis College of Art President Jeff Nesin, our dear friend, emailed the following advice, and we wanted to share it with you: As all of us are acutely aware, today marks the fifth anniversary of the September 11 hijackings and attacks. I have wanted to offer something meaningful to our community, but it’s enormously difficult. […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 8th, 2006 12:49pm CDT | Comments Off on Uncovering The Hidden Value Of Universities On Smart City

Do universities have hidden value to cities? We know about their role as employer, as purchaser of local goods and services, as producer of smart people, and as a source of research. But our guests today are mining their value more deeply and coming up with some surprising results. Robert Milbourne is president of the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 7th, 2006 11:57pm CDT | Comments Off on Better Research = Better Crime Fighting

It is a fundamental characteristic of government that it is reactive in nature. Nothing quite proves it as well as the recent rhetoric about Memphis’ crime rate, replete with press conferences about Operation Safe Community, calls for yet another summit and the vaunted Blue Crush assault on crime. The mystifying thing is that if anyone […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 7th, 2006 9:41pm CDT | Comments Off on Pick The Clear Cutting Builder

Here’s the test. Check out these two photographs. One shows the construction site for Shelby County Schools. The other shows a construction site for Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development. Guess which is which. It may surprise you. Here’s the hint: Apparently Shelby County Schools learned how to clear a site from the developers […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 6th, 2006 12:02pm CDT | Comments Off on Net Neutrality Campaign Heats Up

From The Nation blog: Congress is about to return to Washington this week after taking a long summer break for campaigning and before taking a long fall break for campaigning. During the brief period of governing that will be wedged into the month of September, a lot of damage could be done — particularly to […]

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