Archive for October, 2010

by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 29th, 2010 6:01pm CST | 2 Comments

A couple of years ago, Jeff Speck, former head of design for the National Endowment for the Arts and co-author of Suburban Nation, took the measure of our city and issued “12 Modest Suggestions for Making Memphis Great.” After a recent post, we were asked to post it here.    Click here to read. Enjoy.

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 29th, 2010 4:12pm CST | 1 Comment

If you are on our end of Front Street much, you have undoubtedly seen our friend Jimmy Ogle leading a rapt group of visitors on a walking tour of some part of downtown.  The Daily News has an article about our resident history buff.  It begins: Jimmy Ogle is taking the city’s history off the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 29th, 2010 12:15am CST | 29 Comments

It’s common in a dysfunctional family for people to gang up on the family member who wants to make things better. That’s probably how the Metro Charter Commission and Rebuild Government feel these days.  In return for suggesting there is a way for our community family to pull and work together, they have been vilified, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 26th, 2010 12:37am CST | 9 Comments

Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash’s announcement that 50 city schools should be closed was right on target. It also hints at a much larger problem: Too many City of Memphis facilities are in the wrong places. They weren’t once, but they are now. It’s why Supt. Cash is faced with the prospects of closing […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 22nd, 2010 11:10am CST | Comments Off on Charles Landry Knows What Makes Cities Great

A few years ago, we arranged for the British creative urbanist Charles Landry – author of The Creative City — to speak to Leadership Memphis.  Always provocative, always insightful, he offers his perspectives on the what makes cities great for the Harvard Business School publication. This maverick thinker has studied the complex blend of elements […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Uncategorized | October 22nd, 2010 12:50am CST | 3 Comments

We wish we could get excited about the latest big tax freeze – this time to Cargill. The truth is that we might force some excitement if we ever got even a hint that someone somewhere sometime talk about how to wean us from giving money so people love us.  We’ve talked for 20 years […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 20th, 2010 4:57pm CST | 8 Comments

In searching for the keys to the phenomenon of rapid human evolution and progress, intellectuals have seized upon the idea of collective intelligence: the notion that what determines the rate of innovation, economic progress, and cultural enrichment of a population is the amount of interaction between individuals.1 In other words, it’s not individual intelligence that […]

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by (RSS) Shelby County government | October 20th, 2010 12:22am CST | 28 Comments

It’s a favorite refrain these days of voters outside Memphis: If only Memphis would quit electing incompetent elected officials, the members of the white flight brigade would be willing to vote for consolidation. Of course, it’s all rhetoric.  There’s nothing that’s ever going to be good enough that these “county” voters won’t find some reason […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 18th, 2010 12:09am CST | 2 Comments

It was two years ago when we helped bring to Memphis Jeff Speck, former director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts.   His seminal book, Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, is being reissued for its 10th anniversary.  When he was in Memphis, he issued his […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 18th, 2010 12:01am CST | 10 Comments

Win, lose or drawn-out (depending on federal court), the consolidation campaign has been good for Memphis and Shelby County. Yes, there’s been an abundance of hyperbole, posturing and fiction, but it’s hard to remember a time in decades when as many people in Memphis and Shelby County are talking about their government.  That’s always a […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 15th, 2010 12:54am CST | Comments Off on County Government’s Morphing Role

The grand experiment that began 34 years ago to reinvent Shelby County Government as an urban government is coming to a close. It began with such promise on a clear, unseasonably warm New Year’s Day in 1976 when Shelby County’s first mayor, Roy Nixon, took office and sent the clear message that he was intent […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 14th, 2010 4:38pm CST | Comments Off on A Duty to Beauty

A recent article in UK’s The Independent makes the compelling argument that beauty–and not just extraordinary instances of natural beauty, but also normal, everyday instances of ordinary beauty–qualifies as a public good. That is, one’s consumption of beauty does not reduce its available quantity or preclude another from consuming it. Economists regularly discuss clean air […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 14th, 2010 11:56am CST | 2 Comments

From Dan Conaway’s Rantings: The Mayor and Alder People of Germantown have just awarded a new contract to build a 50-foot wall around the suburban city. The contract is for $1.27 bazillion, “Give or take,” a high-class source confirmed, “our tax rate is going up 3,350%, but it’ll be our wall. We take care of […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 13th, 2010 3:55pm CST | Comments Off on True Grit: Answering the Question, What Am I Doing Here?

Speaking of blogs we like, here’s a new one: True Grit. It’s written by an expatriate from San Francisco, and it’s only a few months old, but we’re looking forward to years of enjoyment from its take on this crazy place, particularly from an architectural perspective. Here’s the blog post that kicked it off and […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 13th, 2010 3:46pm CST | 3 Comments

We love this post by one of favorite bloggers, At Home She Feels Like a Tourist: A little more than four years ago, your humble blogger arrived in Memphis, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, from that leftist utopia on the west coast, the magnificent Bay Area. (OK, let’s be honest – I’ve never been particularly bright-eyed or […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Uncategorized | October 13th, 2010 12:35am CST | 4 Comments

With all the reports and research that we read, it takes a lot to stagger us. But that’s exactly what the report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York did when it concluded that our peer cities are Shreveport, Monroe, Hattiesburg, and Spokane. We wrote about it in the last post but we can’t […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 12th, 2010 5:37am CST | Comments Off on Cities Take a Second Look at the Real Cause of Traffic Delays

Driven Apart: How sprawl is lengthening our commutes and why misleading mobility measures are making things worse, our most recent study released last week, is generating some surprises in cities across the country. Following a press conference last Wednesday, the headlines in major cities had a common theme – traffic isn’t as bad as we […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 11th, 2010 12:43pm CST | 1 Comment

In just a few days, on October 14 and 15, some of the best minds in the field of biomass, bioenergy and our bio-economy will gather in Memphis for Biomass South. This gathering comes approximately one year after the release of the eye opening study from the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice and sponsored by the […]

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