Archive for November, 2007

by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 30th, 2007 3:05pm CST | Comments Off on A Reply To Joel Kotkin

In the Wall Street Journal this week, Joel Kotkin once again seemed like a man with an opinion in search of a statistic. We normally disregard his trenchant complaints – although we have decided that Richard Florida must have poisoned his dog – but since he seemed to refer to our “Young and Restless” research […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 30th, 2007 11:52am CST | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Quality Places

The quality of places results from many factors. This week we’re going to talk to two experts in very different fields, both of whom are deeply engaged in making better places. Maria Hibbs directs The Partnership for New Communities, the Chicago brain trust that is working alongside the Chicago Housing Authority to transform the city’s […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 29th, 2007 7:47pm CST | Comments Off on Greening Development: A Forum

To continue the “green” theme, there’s a forum Saturday morning on a subject way overdue for Memphis – how design and environmental sustainability don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The speakers for the session are David Yocca and Gerould Wilhelm from the Conservation Design Forum, experts at integrating environmentally and culturally sustaining land planning, design […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 28th, 2007 11:58pm CST | Comments Off on Green: The Color Of A Quality City

Previously published as Memphis magazine’s City Journal column: The first stirrings of a green ethos in Memphis are taking place in the unlikeliest of places – Shelby County Government. It would have been unimaginable only a few years ago. After all, county government was largely responsible for the unchecked sprawl that gobbled up land and […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 28th, 2007 12:20am CST | Comments Off on Questioning Creativity In Memphis

In following up a post about ArtsMemphis, Harvey asked if creativity can in fact be nurtured, which inspired our recent question of the week: Do you think that a city can do anything to encourage creativity? If it can, what should Memphis be doing? Here’s a recap of Harvey’s comments, and they are followed by […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 25th, 2007 10:10pm CST | Comments Off on Talks About Lawmen Merger Promise Reward

The Jackson, Mississippi, mayor broke the code: Instant law enforcement consolidation. While long overdue – now in their fourth month – discussions here about merging law enforcement responsibilities of Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff Department are mired in some turf issues, Jackson Mayor Frank Melton consummated a merger in one fell swoop. He […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 20th, 2007 6:20pm CST | Comments Off on River Posts Offer Grist For River Decisions

A few weeks ago, two reporters for Grist magazine, a leader in environmental journalism, were in Memphis as part of a tour of Old Man River from Dubuque to Memphis, and we got the chance to meet with them. It’s always interesting to see ourselves as others see us, and that certainly goes for Memphis […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 18th, 2007 5:47pm CST | Comments Off on Shelby County Commissioners Asked To Vote In Support Of Secret Meetings

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy has developed a reputation during his 13 months in office as someone who acts on his heartfelt belief in American liberalism. That’s why it’s so hard to fathom his sponsorship of Monday’s resolution urging the Tennessee Legislature to gut the Tennessee Open Meetings Law. Maybe he’s come under the spell […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 16th, 2007 5:36pm CST | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Contrasting Cities

Cities inspire us in so many ways. For architect Teddy Cruz, the contrasts between the sister cities of San Diego and Tijuana have inspired award-winning work that explores border crossings, reuse and adaptation of materials and buildings, and new patterns of mixed income housing. His firm, Estudio Teddy Cruz, has been working along the Mexican […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 15th, 2007 7:12pm CST | Comments Off on Same Game For Memphis FBI Head

It’s probably just us, but it seems time for Memphis FBI Special Agent in Charge My Harrison to get back to Quantico for some in-service training. More and more, her comments at media conferences called in the wake of whomever is indicted this week come across as headline hunting at best and unprofessional at worst. […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 15th, 2007 5:21pm CST | Comments Off on Fox 13 Series TV News At Best

Kudos to Fox 13 reporters Ernie Freeman and Jason Carter – not to mention the management that gave them the green light – for their three-part series, Memphis: In Black and White. It was thoughtful and thought-provoking, powered by the reporters’ obvious sincerity in exploring the Memphis racial divide in a way that could encouraging […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 15th, 2007 12:03am CST | Comments Off on Taxing Times In Shelby County

It may sound counter-intuitive but in order to reduce the tax burden, Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton says we need a new tax. Recently, Mayor Wharton became the latest elected official to propose a “privilege tax,” AKA payroll tax, to get some tax revenues from commuters coming into Shelby County to work. While he said […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 13th, 2007 6:29pm CST | Comments Off on Question Of The Week: Can Memphis Encourage Creativity?

In response to our last post about Arts Memphis and its stated goal of creating a vibrant city, Harvey weighed in with these comments: “Nurturing a creative mindset and community sounds like an excellent idea, but I wonder if such a mindset can be nurtured. My qualm comes from looking back on the unstructured history […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 11th, 2007 10:39pm CST | Comments Off on Defining Memphis Future Is An Art All Its Own

The Memphis Arts Council has handled the easy part. Now for the hard work. Reborn as ArtsMemphis, it now has to make sure that its rebranding campaign is about more than a new name, look and logo. After all, brands really are about culture, behavior and ambitions, and apparently, that’s why ArtsMemphis made the point […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 9th, 2007 8:23pm CST | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Rising From The Ashes

Even America’s most depressed downtowns are showing vigorous signs of life. It’s a surprising development no one predicted in the bleak years of the 1970’s and 80’s when many so-called experts dismissed the idea of downtown revitalization as wishful thinking in the age of surburbanization. Dave Feehan, who heads the International Downtown Association, is here […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 7th, 2007 6:24pm CST | Comments Off on Lessons Of Mayor Takeover Of Schools Face Stern Test

Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton’s support today for a city mayoral takeover of Memphis City Schools has a tough road ahead, but it seems to fuel more speculation about his future political ambitions than discussion about the state of Memphis City Schools. And that’s too bad. It’s a concept that deserves serious debate. In an […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 6th, 2007 6:35pm CST | Comments Off on Old Path Of Memphis Politics Makes Case For Young Leadership

Shelby County Commissioners Henri Brooks and Sidney Chism continue their war against reason. Their latest misguided salvo targeted MPACT Memphis, the organization of young professionals (or in the parlance of the day, emerging leaders) whose sin apparently is to have this simple goal: to improve the city. To do this, the hundreds of MPACT members […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 4th, 2007 9:55pm CST | Comments Off on Four Steps Toward Sound Footing For City Schools

Well, now we feel better. Memphis City Schools Chief Operating Officer Michael Goar – as he packs his bags to join former superintendent Carol Johnson in Boston City Schools – assures us that as the Central Nutrition Services’ scandal widens, his other 10 departments are doing fine. That’s cold comfort. After all, it was Mr. […]

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