This week’s Smart City is an encore presentation of a show that first aired June 29, 2006. How can the design of physical space and public policy encourage creativity and high performance? We put that question to our guests Clive Wilkinson and Steven J. Tepper. Clive is principal with Clive Wilkinson Architects based in Los [...]
It’s always easy in Memphis to know that four years have passed. Willie W. Herenton takes another oath of office as mayor and announces that consolidation is a top priority. Five oaths of office later and in spite of his periodic attention, Memphis City Government is no closer to merging with Shelby County Government than [...]
Charter schools just got a late Valentine from state government. It came in the form of an encouraging 40-page report by the highly respected Comptroller of the Treasury John Morgan. The report called for loosening state restrictions that limit charter schools and for sharing charter school innovations so regular public schools “learn from charter schools’ [...]
Obviously, we think blogs are important. We wouldn’t devote this much time and energy to our little corner of the digital world if we thought otherwise. Blogs increase understanding, encourage conversation and contribute to the democratic principles. Most of all, as news organizations have cut back on their reporting staffs and have come to avoid [...]
In answer to a question by Bob, we’ve re-read the contract between Memphis and Shelby County Governments, and here’s the short answer: The contract with the Memphis Grizzlies is not an impediment to development of The Pyramid. While the “Use and Operating Agreement” between the team owners and city and county governments gives the NBA [...]
The redevelopment of riverfronts has been one of the drivers of urban revitalization in many U.S. cities. This week’s guests are working to bring new life to two of those riverfronts. Benny Lendermon is leading the effort to bring Memphians to the Mississippi River. Benny is president of the Memphis Riverfront Development Corporation, a public-private [...]
Maybe we were out of town and missed the press conference. Surely, there was one called by religious leaders to condemn the grotesque anti-Semitism in the flyer attacking U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen by a doctrine-starved Middle Tennessee preacher. Surely, our religious leaders – the majority of whom are either Jewish or worship a Jew – [...]
So, after four years of supposed serious interest in opening a megastore in The Pyramid, Bass Pro Shop discovers that Memphis sits on a fault zone. Due diligence sure must mean something different in Springfield, Missouri. That said, it was curious to us that using this sudden seismic concern as justification for why Bass Pro [...]
A key to living and working downtown is a sense of proportion. We’ve been clear that we have a no tolerance attitude toward panhandlers. We are flexible about the homeless. That’s why we had no problems with the man earlier this year who slept on the sidewalk in front of our place. He cleaned up [...]
Someone emails with this question: How come the stun gun incident involving 2 middle school students in the County Schools attacking another student and the brawl across the street from Houston High School don’t get reported in the press? If only it had been Memphis City Schools.
Finally, someone is asking the right questions about The Pyramid. Someone is stepping back to ask the “real” question about its future. Someone is willing to consider that the two best ideas for the darkened arena may not just be the ones that coincidentally walked through the door. Someone is willing to suggest that it’s [...]
And officials in DeSoto County wonder why we often have so little positive feelings toward them. Sometimes, it’s hard to shake the feeling that they are circling our community like vultures, looking to pick off our companies and our jobs. We thought of this in the wake of the apparent destruction of the former Coors [...]
New City Councilman Jim Strickland recently learned a key lesson about local government – many elected officials essentially see government as a jobs program. On its face, Councilman Strickland’s proposal to allow emergency workers to be drawn from a 100-mile radius of Memphis made perfect sense. After all, we’re already lowering educational credentials in hopes [...]
Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton has sent two strong signals that he intends to get more involved in the affairs of Memphis City schools. One was as he assertively and decisively brushed aside district indecision and took charge of school safety. The other was a letter that he mailed about the same time to the board [...]
This week’s guests are on the frontlines of making cities sustainable with their work on housing, mixed use development and Main Streets. Jonathan Rose has been called the father of the green affordable housing movement. His projects in the South Bronx and in Harlem are showing how green buildings ought to be for everyone. The [...]
We wrote yesterday about The Commercial Appeal using some of Memphis’ most precious real estate – its front page – for its weekly “single mother counter.” We also suggested some other facts, trends and information that we thought merited front page attention. Some of ours include: • The number of new jobs that don’t pay [...]
To follow up the topic of contraception in our latest post, we think the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department should follow the lead of its New York City counterpart and develop its own condoms. To read more about the New York City condom, click here.
With column inches in increasingly short supply, The Commercial Appeal uses its prime real estate on the front page to herald this bulletin – 1,024 children have been born to single mothers this year. Actually, it’s not really a fact, because the number isn’t based on actual 2008 births. Rather, it is based on previous [...]
If you’re interested in cities, you’ll be interested in this program. To learn more, click here.
Memphis is blowing away the competition. This time, it’s not college basketball, but the vote for a Startup Weekend. It’s a fascinating – not to mention fun – process, because within 52 hours in one weekend, a tech start up company will be created and launched from scratch. There are 35 cities vying to be [...]
It seems that we’re about to add another verb to our uniquely Memphis vocabulary: to be “Bass Pro’ed.” Previously posted March 7, 2006: It all feels eerily familiar – the politicians’ self-congratulations, the civic hyperbole, the bureaucrats leading the rounds of applause, the army of cameras and reporters. It’s one of Memphis’ favorite pastimes – [...]