Archive for August, 2009

by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 30th, 2009 7:23pm CST | Comments Off on Aerotropolis Waiting On Tarmac For Clear Take-off

Aerotropolis had a bumpy take-off and encountered immediate turbulence at Memphis City Council over a request for $2.3 million for a beautification project for the roadway that leads to Memphis International Airport. While it’s clear from the comments of Council members that they need more information and better communications about aerotropolis, the problem may have […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 29th, 2009 11:49am CST | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: New Bohemia And New Philadelphia

Bohemia is no longer a small and embattled refuge for society’s weirdoes and starving artists. According to Vanderbilt professor Richard Lloyd, it is now an established district in every medium-sized city that drives up real estate prices. He calls it “Neo-Bohemia,” and we’ll talk to him about his book on the topic, Neo-Bohemia: Art and […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 27th, 2009 9:16pm CST | Comments Off on The U.S. Senate Won’t Be The Same

Previously posted May 8, 2008: We were standing in an anteroom of a Senate hearing room in the Hart Senate Office Building some years back when Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy walked in. Instantly, there was a surge of energy in the room, and although the room was filled with Republican senators waiting for the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 25th, 2009 12:09pm CST | Comments Off on Merger Mania Needs To Give Way To Reality Check

In the not too distant future, government in Memphis and Shelby County will look nothing like it does today. And it will happen with or without consolidation. Voters outside Memphis who reflexively oppose the merger of Memphis and Shelby County Governments haven’t grasped the realities of this brave new world. If they had, they might […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 23rd, 2009 3:06pm CST | Comments Off on City-County Merger: Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

When the topic of city-county government consolidation comes up, it’s hard to figure out if the small town mayors have more in common with Pavlov or Edgar Cayce. On one hand, like the dogs in the Russian scientist’s famous reflex action studies, the mayors immediately salivate, growling over territory and turf, personality and propaganda. On […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 22nd, 2009 4:11pm CST | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Gas, Money And Life

If you think gas is expensive at the peak of summer driving season, try to imagine paying $20 a gallon. Forbes staff writer Christopher Steiner has, and it’s a future that looks surprisingly rosy, that is, if we get ourselves on track. Even in these turbulent economic times, there are people who are truly thriving. […]

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by (RSS) Memphis City Schools | August 20th, 2009 11:13pm CST | Comments Off on Culture Eats Policy For Lunch At MCS

It was no surprise to us that the highest hurdle facing Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash is changing the culture of his own central office. But seemingly lost so far in the overhaul of the insular world of the mother ship at 2597 Avery Avenue is the fact that the strongest warhead of all […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 19th, 2009 10:55pm CST | Comments Off on Getting In The Zone With The UDC

Although well-intended when they were first introduced into city governments, zoning codes became an instrument for sprawl and unsustainable growth. They up-ended walkable neighborhoods, increased greenhouse gas emissions, contributed to unhealthy lifestyles and driven up government spending. Often, it seemed that our communities might have grown better if there had been no zoning codes at […]

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by (RSS) Shelby County government | August 17th, 2009 11:30pm CST | Comments Off on Land Use (Out Of) Control Board Rubber Stamps Sprawl

Maybe we’re just the world’s slowest learners. Despite 20 years of tax freezes that have accomplished nothing so much as expanding a low-wage, low-skill economy, we fought the reform of the PILOT program and continue to define success by how much city and county taxes are given away. Despite the exodus of an average of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 16th, 2009 8:06pm CST | Comments Off on Life of Dixie Fried Music Legend Comes To Close

If it were up to us, Memphis and Shelby County flags would be flying at half-staff today to commemorate the life of Memphis music high priest Jim Dickinson who died yesterday. In a city where individuality is a birthright, he was the penultimate iconoclast – a free spirit, an encyclopedia of American music, midwife to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 15th, 2009 1:43pm CST | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Schools In The Big Easy And Making Education Easier

As classrooms open again this month in cities across the country, schools are on our minds. This week on Smart City, we have two revolutionaries in the field of education. Leslie Jacobs is a native of New Orleans who is using her experience as a business executive to reform public schools. She’s thefounder of a […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 13th, 2009 10:46pm CST | Comments Off on Herenton’s Latest Is No Laughing Matter

Today, Willie W. Herenton officially became a punch line. There are no ways left to describe his behavior except clinical ones – early onset dementia, early stage Alzheimer’s, self-destructive narcissism, obsessive-compulsive behavior or behavior disorder. Maybe he’s just an addict – a prisoner of the spotlight with a need to always be the center of […]

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by (RSS) Taxation | August 12th, 2009 12:13am CST | Comments Off on County Schools Flunk Course On Tax Fairness

Psychologists call it projection. It’s the tendency of some people to attribute their own attitudes and behaviors onto other people, like a thief who thinks every one is trying to steal from him, or the county school board chairman who thinks every one else is lying and untrustworthy. It’s a primitive form of paranoia that […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 9th, 2009 9:18pm CST | Comments Off on Digital Politics: What Has God Wrought?

It was longer ago than I care to remember when a young and perceptive aide in the office of a U.S. Senator from Tennessee pointed to the newly-purchased piece of equipment in his Washington office, and said: “In the end, it will be our undoing.” It was an optical scanning fax machine, and even then, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 9th, 2009 9:15pm CST | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: The Value Of Walking And Technology

This week on Smart City, we’ll have a conversation with our favorite economist, Joe Cortright of Impresa Consulting. He’ll talk to us about a new study title “Walking the Walk” that shows how homes in more walkable neighborhoods are more valuable than those in more car-dependent neighborhoods. And we’ll talk to Susanne Dirks from IBM. […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 5th, 2009 6:48pm CST | Comments Off on Willie W. Herenton: The Hero And Anti-Hero

The signs that Mayor Willie W. Herenton was going to be a short-timer began almost immediately after his reelection. At his swearing in, he seemed detached and the ceremony lacked the fire in the belly passion that characterized the previous times that he had taken the oaths of office as city mayor. Always a detached […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 3rd, 2009 9:35pm CST | Comments Off on Herenton Era Ends But Harmony Yet To Emerge

By the time the final hours of the record-setting terms of Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton ticked to an end last week, there was no one left to beg him to stay. For perhaps the only time in recent years, former Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton produced consensus. Simply put, everyone agreed it was time […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 1st, 2009 10:40pm CST | Comments Off on This Week On Smart City: Seeing Cities With New Eyes

This week on Smart City, we’re talking about different ways of seeing a city. First, we’ll find out how cities can provide unique, creative experiences for their visitors from Alex Pattakos, co-editor of a new book called “Creative Tourism, A Global Conversation.” In it, he and others describe how cities can offer customized, authentic and […]

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