Archive for January, 2010

by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 29th, 2010 1:34pm CDT | Comments Off on Spotlighting Five Special People

While we’re on the theme prompted by New York Times about what a special place Memphis is, we want to throw the spotlight on five special people who make it so. The first two get our votes for Role Models for 2010, the second gets our vote for person who most reminds us why love this crazy place, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 29th, 2010 11:17am CDT | 6 Comments

B.E.G.-2015 is a not-so tongue-in-cheek plan to: a)      Spend $5 million to attract smart people or BRAINS to Memphis. b)      Inspire commitment or ENERGY from existing Memphians to finish something big.  The Power of 10 was discussed in the last post. c)       Exploit profit motivations or GREED to keep the process rolling along. We have […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 29th, 2010 9:57am CDT | Comments Off on Now Here’s Something We Need: Rating Roads for Sustainability

Hoping to do for roads what LEED has done for buildings and Energy Star for household appliances, Greenroads has unveiled a new rating system for sustainable road design and construction. In development since early 2007, the system seeks to encourage the more than $80-billion-a-year road construction industry to adopt standards that will build sustainable roads […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 29th, 2010 12:16am CDT | Comments Off on Roll Over, Elvis. Meet Indie Memphis

There’s nothing better than seeing our city through other people’s eyes.  That’s why we are so proud to have Amie Vanderford’s distinctive eye on Memphis featured on our blog. Now the New York Times is reporting on the quirky, funky Memphis that we all know and love.  I’m also proud to say that my sons-in-law, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 28th, 2010 11:16am CDT | 2 Comments

B.E.G.-2015 is a not-so tongue-in-cheek plan to: a)      Spend $5 million to attract smart people or BRAINS to Memphis.  The M-Prize for Brains was discussed in the last post. b)      Inspire commitment or ENERGY from existing Memphians to finish something big. c)       Exploit profit motivations or GREED to keep the process rolling along. Leland Speed […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 28th, 2010 12:05am CDT | 5 Comments

Ever heard this before? “Slow-moving, backwards Southern town with an inferiority complex.” Nope, it’s not an extended version of Time magazine’s infamous description of Memphis as a “backwater river town.” Rather, it’s a description of Jacksonville that was given of Jacksonville a year before Time‘s slap in our face. No one’s making fun of Jacksonville […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 27th, 2010 11:15am CDT | 14 Comments

Urban revitalization really needs three things: available buildings or property, loyal developers or investors, and the right incentives to make the deal as profitable as a suburban project.  Sounds simple enough and, after all, this is the way everyone has been doing it.  However, this represents a tactic that does not fundamentally change very much […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 27th, 2010 11:13am CDT | Comments Off on A Change Agenda for City Hall

It’s been said that the Wharton Administration will announce some striking changes in City Hall soon, and in light of that, we reprise this post of September 13: The listening tour on merging governments was based on a central premise: the business models for Memphis and Shelby County Governments are broken. There may be disagreements […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 27th, 2010 12:04am CDT | Comments Off on Recent Readings about Sustainability (and Haiti)

Local sustainability efforts and a heartwarming story about a Memphis-Haiti connection.

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 26th, 2010 12:07am CDT | 4 Comments

  If Memphis was a real estate business, we would say that it suffers from a low occupancy rate. If we ran a shopping center with this problem, we could spend some money making it more attractive and offering special leases, we could lose money and suck it up, or we could raise rents, but […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 26th, 2010 12:03am CDT | 3 Comments

My first post addressed the urgent need for a economic renewal of our inner cities.  In this post we look at an amazing precedence established in Spain that gives us inspiration to consider how we might achieve this type of economic transformation in Memphis. The Story of the Mondragon Corporation The year is 1941 and […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 25th, 2010 12:08am CDT | Comments Off on The Great College Debate

In the education world, heaps of debates have raged over the decades about how American schools should be structured, what should be taught, how it should be taught and the like.  But most of those discussions are snoozers for the main stream – better left to ivory tower types to grapple with. What has been […]

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by (RSS) Memphis City Schools | January 25th, 2010 12:05am CDT | 6 Comments

It’s the worst kept secret at Memphis City Schools that almost every one of its schools is expected to hit the state’s failing schools list later this year. That’s because Tennessee Department of Education is finally getting serious about academic standards and no longer will parents and taxpayers be lied to by their own governments […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 22nd, 2010 12:10am CDT | 1 Comment

As the tenures of two city leaders – one in the arts, one in downtown development – come to an end, we’re hard-pressed to think of a better legacy for them than the Memphis College of Arts Graduate School in the South Main Historic District. There is little left that we can say about our […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 22nd, 2010 12:02am CDT | 1 Comment

I recently moved to Memphis and, in a nutshell, I was brought here by the overall character of the city. I was curious how many other transplants were drawn here recently. Turns out, from 2000-2008, while the total population grew thanks to births and international migration, domestically, Memphis actually lost 2,176 people. Why? There are […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 21st, 2010 12:21am CDT | 6 Comments

If travelling through Colorado, make time to enjoy Downtown Denver.  With five hours to kill last week, I did just that.  I can’t say this was enough time to uncover benchmarks and best practices.  But it is hard not to be inspired by the small things that add up to be one impressive place. Arriving […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | January 21st, 2010 12:05am CDT | 7 Comments

Great cities are able to do more than one thing at a time. They build great parks, they help revitalize neighborhoods and they provide safety net services. In the city version of thinking we can’t chew gum and walk at the same time, a skate park for the Glenview neighborhoods has been pulled because the […]

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by (RSS) Memphis City Schools | January 20th, 2010 12:02am CDT | Comments Off on Teachers: The Right Target for Memphis City Schools

No one says it better than Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash. “Getting an effective teacher cannot be a lottery ticket for our students,” he said.  “This is simply not acceptable.” That’s the most exciting part of this Gates Foundation-funded Teacher Effectiveness Initiative.  It is a direct hit on the lottery taking place in schools […]

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