Archive for December, 2012

by (RSS) Livability, Planning and Urban Design | December 31st, 2012 11:28am CDT | Comments Off on Memphis Tops Tactical Urbanism List

From Planetizen – Memphis was spotlighted in the year’s wrap-up of Tactical Urbanism success stories: Thanks to this website and the Urban Times, 2012 began and ended with Tactical Urbanism being named one of the top planning trends of 2012. Clearly, the rapid rise of parklets, pavement to plaza success stories, and sanctioned build a better block projects are pushing this […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 31st, 2012 12:38am CDT | 8 Comments

Tim Sampson is one of our favorite writers (not to mention one of our favorite people), and we are reminded of it whenever he writes The Rant in the Memphis Flyer.  Mr. Sampson, former editor of the Flyer and now communications director at Soulsville Foundation, is one of the best at finding just the right […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Transportation | December 27th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | 1 Comment

From National Air Transportation Association: Let me begin with a cordial reminder to all my airport manager friends that this commentary is not about you.  You know who you are – and aviation businesses need more people like you helping us build a strong air transportation system.  But for the rest of you, this article’s […]

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by (RSS) Transportation | December 27th, 2012 12:25am CDT | Comments Off on TDOT Returns to Its Old Ways

The headline about the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s double standard for I-69 and I-269 provoked the image here of Jack Nicholson in The Shining: “I’m baaaaaaack.” And so it is for TDOT. With the election of Governor Bill Haslam, former commissioner of TDOT Gerald Nicely, got the boot as did his more sensitive approach to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 24th, 2012 3:07pm CDT | Comments Off on Full-Cost Pricing for Infrastructure Projects

From Atlantic Cities: Let’s begin with basic market economics for Dick or Jane: prices affect individual consumption behavior. Let’s next add to basic economics of building a city’s infrastructure for Dick and Jane: ribbon-cutting prices affect behavior. In the former case, Dick or Jane chooses to purchase or not purchase a good based on the […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | December 21st, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Benchmarking Memphis Ag and Energy Initiatives in France

Recently, a group of scientists, academics, government officials and agriculture experts gathered at the Pommery Vineyard in the heart of the French Champagne region.  But the subject wasn’t the making of the world’s most famous sparkling wines. Instead, the gathering was designed to discuss, critique and highlight the benefits of a potential bio-refinery and to […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Livability, Transportation | December 21st, 2012 12:47am CDT | 6 Comments

The national Sierra Club has rightfully identified I-269 as one of the 50 worst transportation projects in the U.S.  The Sierra club explanation for why I-269 has a negative impact on the future of Memphis echoed many concerns heard here.  Here’s an earlier post about this unnecessary highway: I-269 will unquestionably take a toll on […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Taxation | December 20th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Business Incentives: Corporate Grand Larceny

From Citistates, by Neal Peirce: It should be called for what it is: corporate grand larceny, aimed at your tax dollars, your public services and mine. Each year, as the New York Times reports in a major expose series, corporations are tapping America’s state and local governments for at least $80 billion in cash grants, […]

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by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design, Transportation | December 19th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | 8 Comments

Memphis, TN — I-269 is featured in the Sierra Club’s new national report: Smart Choices, Less Traffic: 50 Best and Worst Transportation Projects in the United States.   Sierra Club Chickasaw Group today highlighted the need to move beyond oil and why I-269 is an example of the kinds of projects that will keep the […]

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by (RSS) Downtown Revitalization, Livability | December 18th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on How Downtown Can Save America One Step At A Time

Jeff Speck’s new book, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, is worth a read for its acerbic wit, alone. The author fits a remarkable collection of data and anecdotal evidence from his long career in urban design (which included a four-year stint at the helm of the National Endowment […]

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Unfortunately, it seems that concerns about Elvis Presley Boulevard “improvements” were well-placed. As it stands, the $43 million, three-mile project is marginally better than when it was first announced, but it still fails to deliver its place-making potential because in the end, it still ended up being about cars rather than about creating a livable […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Taxation | December 17th, 2012 2:51pm CDT | Comments Off on Regardless How They’re Counted, Incentives Do Nothing for Economic Development

From Atlantic Cities, by Richard Florida: Last Friday, I wrote here on the “uselessness of economic development.” Using The New York Times’s new database on state and local economic development incentives, I found no association between these incentives and key measures of economic performance and found virtually no association for the fifty states. One thing is clear […]

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by (RSS) Downtown Revitalization, Taxation | December 14th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | 3 Comments

The idea of a downtown TIF to pay for improvements to downtown and its neighborhoods is awash with bad information, misstatements, and confusion, all of which is preventing a rational, calm discussion about the potential of the TIF as another tool downtown improvements absent the hysteria that’s attendant with this idea in some quarters.  Whether […]

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There’s something really unseemly about local restaurant and hotel leaders fighting a proposal that guarantees that low-wage workers aren’t cheated or underpaid. The Shelby County Board of Commissioners’ resolution to fight wage theft is a laudatory – and much-needed – piece of local legislation now opposed by our local restaurant and hotel associations. It’s a […]

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by (RSS) Education | December 13th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Numbers Can Lie: Comparing Students in U.S. and Abroad

From Yong Zhao 21st Century Education Blog: “America’s Woeful Public Schools: TIMSS Sheds Light on the Need for Systemic Reform”[1] “Competitors Still Beat U.S. in Tests”[2] “U.S. students continue to trail Asian students in math, reading, science”[3] These are a few of the thousands of headlines generated by the release of the 2011 TIMSS and […]

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by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | December 12th, 2012 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on The Art of Making Place

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by (RSS) Downtown Revitalization, Economic Development, Uncategorized | December 12th, 2012 12:05am CDT | Comments Off on Pyramid Headed for the Afterlife

Published as City Journal column in November edition of Memphis magazine: Pyramids in ancient Egypt ushered the entombed into the afterlife, but in Memphis’ case, it’s The Pyramid itself that’s headed to its next life. Egyptian pyramids contained the supplies needed for a boat journey through the underworld on the way to the afterlife. Memphis’ […]

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by (RSS) Trends and Issues | December 11th, 2012 2:56pm CDT | Comments Off on Personal Incomes Rise in All Metro Areas, Most Counties

From Governing: Note: Memphis MSA incomes rose 4.2% when 2011 was compared to 2010: Personal incomes swelled in every metropolitan area and nearly all U.S. counties last year, according to data released Monday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Across all 366 metro areas, personal income grew 5.2 percent on average, compared to a 3.9 […]

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