Archive for December, 2006

by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 29th, 2006 10:32pm CDT | Comments Off on Development and Land: This Week On Smart City

The way we live is influenced by factors we are often only barely aware of. Take land use, for instance. Few of us think about us. Fewer still understand how it works and how it is influenced. But that’s not the case with our guests this week. Robert Puentes is a fellow with the Brookings […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 28th, 2006 12:13pm CDT | Comments Off on The Golden Age Of Great City Mayors

In light of all the media and political pundits’ speculation about Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton’s plans (or non-plans) to run for another term, we post this commentary about great mayors. The U.S. is in an era of great city mayors, and often, they have come from nontraditional backgrounds. Names bandied about here are largely […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 27th, 2006 1:42pm CDT | Comments Off on As Older Cities Shrink, Some Reinvent Themselves

In the current issue, USA Today reports on an encouraging trend in some cities who don’t see population decline as reasons for panic, and instead, treat it as a chance to redefine themselves. As we’ve mentioned, Tennessee’s liberal annexation law allows Memphis to mask the hollowing out that is taking place here and leave the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 22nd, 2006 12:07am CDT | Comments Off on The Cure For Cities: This Week On Smart City

Can the very thing that plagues a city also be the solution to its problems? Steven Johnson may have that answer. He is the author of the new book The Ghost Map that details the mystery of the Broad Street cholera outbreak in London in September of 1854. Steven writes The Urban Planet blog for […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 21st, 2006 12:11am CDT | Comments Off on Can Memphis’ Future Take Flight As An Aerotropolis?

It was encouraging to see that the Memphis Regional Chamber held a meeting last week that spotlighted Memphis’ potential as an aerotropolis. It’s a topic that deserves serious attention here for a variety of reasons. If you relied on our daily newspaper to give you a sense of the meeting, pick up this week’s Memphis […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 19th, 2006 6:09pm CDT | Comments Off on Regional Answers Demand Regional Taxes

It’s a tale of two cities, and only a short drive is needed to come face-to-face with the telling. In Nashville, the drive takes you to Williamson County, the 11th wealthiest county in the U.S. with a median family income that’s a staggering $95,470. Four nearby counties shatter the $55,000 mark. Outside of Fulton County, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 17th, 2006 12:04pm CDT | Comments Off on No Holiday Truce In Shelby County Political Wars

‘Tis the season to be jolly and to cherish our children. However, some Democratic county commissioners and some Republican Shelby County school board members seem intent on using children during this holiday season in ways that make Ebenezer Scrooge look an ambassador for altruism. It’s enough to kill the spirit of the season. On one […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 14th, 2006 8:47pm CDT | Comments Off on "Physician, Heal Thy Self" Motivation Should Prompt City Council Action On Ethics

The Memphis Charter Commission shouldn’t draw up the ethics laws for city government that its members have been discussing. That’s because it needs to be done by Memphis City Council. The Council owes it to its citizens, but it also owes it to itself. Some prominent Council members have been disturbed for some time by […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 12th, 2006 11:49pm CDT | Comments Off on Prosecuting The Art Of The Preemptive News Conference

The recent news conference by Attorney General Bill Gibbons featured his now familiar political bump and grind in announcing that he is cracking down on the nonpolitical version found in Memphis’ “anything goes” strip clubs. To most observers, his newfound interest in doing something about the sexually explicit behavior long found in Memphis clubs stemmed […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 11th, 2006 6:10pm CDT | Comments Off on Memphis City Schools Gets Low Marks In Communications 101

As a general rule, governments and public agencies do relatively poor jobs of communicating. Unfortunately, that’s especially true for Memphis City Schools, and it’s regrettable, because if there’s any public entity who needs to be good at communicating effectively with the public, it should be the one that on average spends about $95,000 an hour, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 10th, 2006 11:53pm CDT | Comments Off on Shelby County Schools Unlikely To Pass Test On Community Leadership

Every one with Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools put on a happy face last week as they emerged from a meeting about an agreement for handling the students in the area to be annexed by Memphis, but the chances of their reaching agreement on a plan are about as good as peace in […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 8th, 2006 1:22pm CDT | Comments Off on Living In A Learning City: This Week On Smart City

Imagine a Learning City where everything – literally everything – is turned into an opportunity to teach something new and all day, everyday is considered a teachable moment. Kevin Crowley is director of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments, and he and his team have been working on turning […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 8th, 2006 1:11pm CDT | Comments Off on A Message From Detroit Is A Wake-up Call For Memphis

The announcement by Metrotimes’ cultural editor that she was leaving Detroit shocked some people there, but here, it feels unsettling, because all of us know someone who has said something like this. The question is: what do we do to keep it from becoming the prevailing sentiment here? Here’s a wake-up call from Detroit’s Sarah […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 7th, 2006 1:26am CDT | Comments Off on City Vitals Report Is The Wake-up Call And The Case For Weirdness That Memphis Needs

It’s official. Memphis is weird. For those of us who decided to spend our lives here, that’s one of the things we like most about this place, but a recent report by Chicago-based CEOs For Cities (headed up by Memphian and founder of our firm Carol Coletta) confirmed our opinion. The 26-city organization nurtures the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 4th, 2006 8:21pm CDT | Comments Off on The Call For Tax Freeze Changes Waits For Action…A Year Later

It’s that special time of the year when we celebrate the past and commemorate important things in our lives. In that vein, it’s time to pause and observe the first anniversary of an important event in our community’s life – issuance of the consultants’ report calling for a dramatic overhaul of our local tax freeze […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 2nd, 2006 12:02am CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Lessons In Innovation

Cities have always been hotbeds of innovation. This week, our guests offer perspectives on innovation both from the past and the future. Steel Cities were once the very embodiment of innovation. Dr. Kenneth Thompson, associate professor of psychiatry and public health at the University of Pittsburgh, is part of an international consortium of scholars and […]

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