Archive for October, 2012

by (RSS) Downtown Revitalization, Economic Development, Planning and Urban Design | October 31st, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on The Future Calls for a Different Kind of Urban Developer

From Next American City: When the Barclays Center opened in Brooklyn earlier this month, its developer, Bruce C. Ratner, was the subject of enough hagiography that you would think he were an urban visionary on par with Frederick Law Olmstead or Daniel Burnham. Long forgotten was the cold, placeless Metro Tech Center, which Ratner developed […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Neighborhoods, Planning and Urban Design | October 30th, 2012 3:18pm CDT | Comments Off on Density and Housing: Good for Each Other

From Citytank: Housing affordability is a critical ingredient of sustainable development in cities, but also one of the most vexing challenges. Not surprisingly, it’s also an issue that often gets tangled up in contention and misunderstanding. If we hope to accommodate growth in a sustainable fashion by creating dense, walkable, transit-rich urban centers that also […]

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Chuck Marohn, executive director of Strong Towns, was in Memphis earlier this year at the invitation of the Mayor’s Innovation Team to lay out his philosophy of smart urban investments and to gather information and insights for his report for Memphis. “I intentionally approached Memphis as a blank slate,” he wrote in the report introduction.  […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Transportation | October 29th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | 2 Comments

From Sierra Club: The local Sierra Club Chickasaw Group joined Councilman Edmund Ford Jr. and other organizations in a News Conference today to announce support for the 1-Cent-Per-Gallon-Gas-Tax Referendum. If approved by voters, the Referendum on the city of Memphis November ballot will send $3 million to the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) to pay […]

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by (RSS) Livability | October 26th, 2012 3:07pm CDT | Comments Off on Making Sure Bike Lanes are Where Riders Want Them

From Atlantic Cities: The more cities spend on bike infrastructure, the more important it becomes to make sure that money is spent wisely. One way to measure success in this area is to lay down bike lanes or paths and see if ridership grows. Another is simply to ask riders what facilities they prefer. Both approaches […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | October 26th, 2012 9:56am CDT | Comments Off on Learning From Past For Best Future Economic Plan

  As we wrote earlier in this series, the Memphis economy has reached the moment of truth. Languishing in the lower rungs of the economic indicators that matter, we have reached the point where we either snap out of it or we sink into the abyss with cities like Cleveland who are scratching to find […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | October 25th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on How Site Location Consultants Manipulate Corporate Investment Decisions

From Good Jobs First: One of the key questions for economic development officials is figuring out how large, national companies decide where to locate job-creating facilities such as headquarters buildings, factories, warehouses and research & development centers. The answer should be simple: companies base their location decisions on business basics such as proximity to suppliers […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | October 25th, 2012 12:36am CDT | 2 Comments

 Rather than selling themselves at a discount — cheap land and cheap labor and  tax giveaways – most highly successful cities are investing in better workers,  high-quality universities, quality of life and efficient public services. Here’s our start on economic development priorities for the planned plan for Memphis and Shelby: • Investments in Universities. Universities are seedbeds […]

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by (RSS) Neighborhoods, Planning and Urban Design | October 24th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Main Street Lessons from Berkeley, Madison, and Cincinnati

From Better Cities and Towns If you live in a walkable neighborhood, you know the value of a neighborhood main street as the place to grab a cup of coffee, meet up with a friend, or — if you are as lucky as I am — buy produce and groceries at a local market. Neighborhood […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | October 23rd, 2012 3:09pm CDT | Comments Off on Why It Can Be More Affordable to Live in an “Expensive” City

From DC Streetsblog:   So, how did Washington, D.C. — widely perceived as one of the most expensive cities in the country — end up topping a “most affordable” housing list? First and most importantly, adjust for average income levels. Then, factor in transportation costs. Using that formula, the D.C. region is tops among 25 […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | October 23rd, 2012 12:24am CDT | 2 Comments

This seems to be the moment in time when we finally are faced squarely with making a fundamental choice: whether we are content for Memphis to become the Southern version of Cleveland or whether we have the courage to throw aside business as usual once and for all to mobilize an ambitious, bold, unprecedented campaign […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Parks and Greening | October 22nd, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Seven Things That Make Good Community

From Atlantic Cities: I am fortunate to have befriended, one way or another, some people who are very good at the business of thinking about, designing, and building good communities. While many of them are architects and planners, primarily concerned with physical space, community-building is an art with elusive goals, as Eric Jacobsen’s book (reviewed […]

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by (RSS) Education | October 20th, 2012 3:10pm CDT | Comments Off on Strategy for Better Schools: Empowering and Equipping Teachers

From Education Week: What do we do on Monday morning is the perennial question that arises after attending a conference where heady ideas are discussed in an atmosphere of urgency and expectation. The question certainly was on my mind as I settled into my flight home from Paris after attending World Teacher’s Day at UNESCO […]

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by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | October 18th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Public Art Matters

From Atlantic Cities: Susan Weiler, FASLA, OLIN, successfully made the case that “public art is important,” at a session on art and landscape architecture at the 2012 ASLA Annual Meeting. In a review that ran from the early history of American public art, which began in Philadelphia, to evocative examples across the country, and then […]

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  The verdict is out on EDGE. The new Memphis and Shelby County economic development umbrella agency has been in the organizational phase for the past year, so maybe it’s too soon to get a complete sense of its ultimate effectiveness.  That said, some of its work so far have created concern about its focus, […]

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by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | October 17th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on An App For Citizens To Do Their Own Urban Planning

  From Fast Company:   Imagine you’re a community organizer in Detroit. You want to convert an abandoned lot into a community garden, and to back up your case, you plan a local survey of families who might use it. You organize a band of volunteers–mostly teens and retirees–who are willing to canvas the neighborhood. […]

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by (RSS) Downtown Revitalization, Livability, Planning and Urban Design | October 16th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on New Life for the American City

From Architectural Record: New Life For the American City Today one-third of the U.S. population lives in central cities, the highest proportion since 1950. How are urban centers responding to growth, and how do they find imaginative ways for creating vital places to live and work? We investigate three metropolitan areas in the process of […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | October 16th, 2012 12:26am CDT | 1 Comment

On the N20 outside Rathduff, Ireland, there is this sign: “Business As Usual.” It’s the sort of slogan that doesn’t invoke positive impressions in this country, but it’s a sign that would have been just as much at home on the highway approaching Memphis and Shelby County.  For too long, our economic growth plans have […]

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