Archive for August, 2008

by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 30th, 2008 11:38pm CDT | Comments Off on Maybe Herenton Was Overqualified As McCain Running Mate

Maybe Republican presidential candidate John McCain should have selected Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton as his running mate. After all, he has as many constituents and 14 more years of executive experience than Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. It seems to us that this time around, even the Republican spin doctors know how thin their case […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 30th, 2008 3:44pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Cities – Past and Present

This week, Smart City will examine cities in history and how their past shapes their future. Ed Glaeser is the first guest, and he is always asking the question, “What makes cities work?” He is a prolific researcher at Harvard University’s Department of Economics, and he has challenged the wisdom of the ambitions of shrinking […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 28th, 2008 8:33pm CDT | Comments Off on School Should Be Out On Politics As Usual

There’s the widely-held belief in corporate American that in times of great financial stress, an effective manager can cut as much as 15 percent of the budget at any time without doing serious damage to the company. It’s hard to argue on some days that it can’t apply to the public sector as well, but […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 27th, 2008 8:25pm CDT | Comments Off on Why We Should Get Behind A Bold Vision For UM

University of Akron President Luis M. Proenza could have been talking to us. Speaking to the convocation of Florida International University late last year, he talked about “how urban universities create a competitive advantage,” and it seems a perfect follow-up to our last post about the importance of maximizing the University of Memphis’ economic impact. […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 26th, 2008 2:21pm CDT | Comments Off on Making The Grade For University Of Memphis

There’s a certain level of angst that surfaces this time each year because the football team at University of Memphis isn’t in the top 100 in pre-season rankings. As University of Memphis graduates, all of us here do care about the fortunes of our sports teams, but that’s not the ranking that really got our […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 24th, 2008 10:22pm CDT | Comments Off on Economic Forces Threaten To Ground Economic Development

In the aerotropolis sweepstakes, Detroit is the first city to take flight. There, the Detroit Region Aerotropolis has used the nation’s latest economic development big idea as a vehicle for regionalism, bringing together politicians and business leaders from two counties, seven cities, and two airports – Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Willow Run Airport. Quoting the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 23rd, 2008 8:51pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Where We Live And Where We Play

This week on Smart City Richard Florida is our guest. He predicted the rise of the Creative Class, and now he says where you live is the most important decision you’ll ever make. His latest book is called: “Who’s Your City.” We’ll also speak with Meg Cheever. Meg is the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 21st, 2008 11:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Miami Cautionary Tale Speaks To Urban Superintendents

Being an urban superintendent is a tough job on its best day, but a fundamental fact of life about the public sector makes it even more difficult: style can trump substance, attitude can overshadow achievements and people skills can obscure technical skills. There’s no greater proof of this than the reversal of fortunes for Miami […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 19th, 2008 9:58pm CDT | Comments Off on Engineering A Change In Thinking About Roles

If the Sustainable Shelby project is looking for a symbol for its smart growth agenda, it can find in it in a most unexpected place – the Shelby County Division of Public Works. After all, conventional wisdom is that government departments responsible for public works are project-oriented, asphalt-laying operations more concerned about responding to the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 18th, 2008 10:33pm CDT | Comments Off on Schooling State Government About Education Funding

Persistence is always a mandatory attitude when dealing with government, and that’s even the case when it’s a county commissioner dealing with state government officials. It’s taken Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz more than a year to get the approximate data that he requested from state government, but his relentlessness has finally produced results. As […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 18th, 2008 12:45am CDT | Comments Off on Praying For A Eulogy To Memphis Intolerance

WWJD? Apparently, in the minds of many Memphians, He would scream, hurl epithets, demean and bully. In fact, if we’ve ever seen the antithesis of Christ-like behavior, it was in the reaction by too many Memphians following the death of Memphis music legend Isaac Hayes, who just happened to be a Scientologist. While a guiding […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 16th, 2008 10:26pm CDT | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Creating Community

Greg Fuson and Sandra Kulli are the people behind The Vine, an annual west coast gathering of creative architects, builders, thinkers and artists. Their topic at this year’s Vine Conference is the nature of community. We’ll also speak with Ruth Otte and Clifford Young. Together they’ve produced an invaluable survey for urban enthusiasts that uncovers […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 14th, 2008 10:03pm CDT | Comments Off on Trying To Start A "Real" Conversation About School Funding

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter continues his one-man campaign to spark a serious discussion about school funding. In fact, at a time when the fallout from Memphis City Council’s cut in school funding could conceivably end up affecting the county budget, he’s about the only person there who seems to be talking about this issue. […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 13th, 2008 9:37pm CDT | Comments Off on Consolidation Should Start Inside County Government

In the end, there were just too many reasons to vote against Shelby County charter amendment 360. There was the sizable group of term-limit supporters who resented the fact that commissioners used the imperative to correct a legal fallacy in the county charter to add another term to the two-term limit of the mayor and […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 12th, 2008 11:32pm CDT | Comments Off on Memphis’ Most Taxing Problem Deserves Council Attention

Memphis City Council owes no apologies for taking the long view on tax equity when it withheld $66 million funding for Memphis City Schools. Some may trivialize their motives, others may vilify them as opportunists and a few may even suggest that they personally don’t care about students, but it’s worth remembering that about 75% […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 10th, 2008 11:07pm CDT | Comments Off on Universities Grade Themselves By Surrounding Neighborhoods

It’s encouraging that the University of Memphis has clearly adopted a new attitude toward the future of its adjacent neighborhoods, and hopefully, there will be a time when it shows up on the list of universities who are doing this best. The “report card” to which we are referring resulted from the 20-year work of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 9th, 2008 7:11pm CDT | Comments Off on Creative Communities and Creative Connections

Smart City is talking with people who have discovered new ways of attracting and retaining a creative community. First we’ll speak with Helen Johnson and Josh McManus. They lead a group called CreateHere, which focuses on the artists in their own backyard in Chattanooga, TN. Through an innovative series of grants, programs and projects, CreateHere […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 7th, 2008 10:32pm CDT | Comments Off on Cheap Taxes Fuel Unsustainable Lifestyle

It’s widely predicted that climbing gas prices will force suburbanites out of their cars and back to city neighborhoods. Shelby County is likely to be one of the last places where it will happen. That’s because our community’s inequitable tax structure and MATA’s poor reputation combine to stall changes in lifestyles here. As a result, […]

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