Archive for April, 2013

by (RSS) Downtown Revitalization, Economic Development | April 30th, 2013 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Anchoring Economic Development with Historic Architecture

From Atlantic Cities: It’s ridiculously easy to think about the benefits of historic preservation in immensely walkable Providence, Rhode Island. I’m not sure I’ve seen a better collection of downtown historic architecture this side of New Orleans. Elsewhere there are fine smaller historic downtowns, of course, such as in Annapolis, and wonderful urban historic districts […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | April 30th, 2013 12:09am CDT | 6 Comments

We are all excited about the progress that’s being seen in pockets around our community, and while we should take the time to celebrate them, we should be clear-eyed about the challenges ahead of us and double down in our ambitions and our efforts. Despite new momentum and some modest milestones of progress, we have […]

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by (RSS) Politics and Government | April 29th, 2013 3:14pm CDT | Comments Off on Are States Deepening the Red-Blue Divide?

From governing.com: There’s recently been a flurry of discussion about how the expansion of unified party control and legislative supermajorities in the states has deepened the nation’s red-blue divide. Observers often point to moves by increasingly unfettered Democrats and Republicans to push the policy envelope in the states they control as evidence of this rift, […]

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  “Memphis must focus more on redeveloping the city’s core through ‘infill’ projects, rather than pursuing annexation. A report completed for the city last year goes further: It said stretching the city’s boundaries has had ‘disastrous’ results for Memphis …” – Commercial Appeal, April 14, 2013 As Tom Charlier articulated in this article, over the […]

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We almost said that the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s decision to change its name would be one of the dumbest decisions it’s ever made, but then, we had to remember who we were talking about. This is the organization that is one of the most unbalanced, unrepresentative MPOs in the entire United States.  This is the […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Livability, Planning and Urban Design | April 25th, 2013 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Buying Local Only Makes Good Cents

From SustainableCitiesCollective: Ever wish there was a single graphic that effectively summarized the benefits of buying local? Well, scroll down below, because this is what you were waiting for, thanks to the folks at CustomMade. You can download the full size image or embed it into your site by visiting Why Buying Local is Worth Every […]

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by (RSS) Neighborhoods | April 24th, 2013 3:18pm CDT | Comments Off on Attend Livable Memphis’ Annual Summit: Fund the Places We Live

  Want to learn more about the resources it takes to run our city? Ever thought about how we can make budgeting more transparent and participatory? Discover where cities get their money and how they spend it. In this era of tight fiscal restraints, Funding the Places We Live follows closely on the heels of […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Parks and Greening, Planning and Urban Design | April 24th, 2013 12:58am CDT | Comments Off on Greenprinting: Making a Statement about Our Future

The following was a guest post on the blog of the Mid-South Regional Greenprinting plan: There are few things in American life that we can approach with a “build it and they will come” attitude. Greenlines and bike lanes are two exceptions. That was a message delivered by city planner and architectural designer Jeff Speck in […]

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by (RSS) Arts and Culture, Uncategorized | April 23rd, 2013 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Dancing to a Conversation about the Arts

From MemphisConnect.com:     In a modern building on the edge of Cordova, Ballet Memphis‘ company of dancers prepares their performances for Memphis audiences, in quiet isolation as they tighten the screws on their art. When MemphisConnect visited last week, the company was hard at work in rehearsal for their April 20 and 21 performances […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 22nd, 2013 3:13pm CDT | Comments Off on Building an Election System that Works

From Governing: A new tool gives administrators and policymakers crucial benchmarking data they need to make the voting process fair, accurate and convenient. President Obama and leaders in both parties, in calling for improving American elections, point to long lines at the polls last year as a significant problem that needs to be solved. And […]

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by (RSS) Livability, Trends and Issues | April 22nd, 2013 12:41am CDT | 2 Comments

More and more, Memphis is becoming a city with a green ethos. It’s encouraging that people and organizations from all parts of the community have joined in this movement and remarkable progress has been made in only six years.  Unfortunately, an organization that should be leading this movement – Agricenter International – is once again […]

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by (RSS) Parks and Greening | April 19th, 2013 3:17pm CDT | Comments Off on Why Parks Matter

From Planetizen: A recent Smithsonian retrospective featured records from the 1970s Environmental Protection Agency. One of the more personally interesting ones is from 1972: A woman holding a placard is standing before a strip mall of shops protesting the protection of an ecologically sensitive area. Her placard reads, “We pay taxes; parks don’t.” According to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 18th, 2013 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Tennessee’s Not Our Neighborhood

Look at the center of this map, at the little red dot that marks Kansas City. Technically, Kansas City is at the edge of Missouri, but here on this map it’s in the upper middle section of a bigger space with strong blue borders. We don’t have a name for this bigger space yet, but […]

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by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | April 18th, 2013 12:48am CDT | Comments Off on Getting Smaller To Get Better

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 if […]

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by (RSS) Education | April 17th, 2013 3:17pm CDT | Comments Off on Why STEM Should Care About the Humanities

From Chronicle of Higher Education: One need not look far these days to find people skeptical (at best) about the value of higher education. Most of these people particularly question the value of a liberal-arts education, which they view as outdated and elitist. Claiming economic pragmatism, they seek the curtailment or even outright elimination of […]

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In light of recent conversations and media coverage about ending City of Memphis’ long-standing policy of aggressive annexations, we’re reprising a post from June 16, 2009 that was a continuation of a discussion about shrinking cities and deannexation that was raised first on this blog: We can cure you but we may have to kill […]

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by (RSS) Taxation | April 16th, 2013 3:03pm CDT | Comments Off on Study: Citizen Budgeting Related to Better Outcomes

From Governing: Mary Bunting, the city manager of Hampton, Va., knows firsthand the importance of engaging citizens in the budget process. A few years ago, in the throes of the recession, Bunting noticed a frustrating trend in the budgeting process. Her staff would paintakingly prepare a budget using careful cost-benefit analysis — only to see […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 15th, 2013 3:14pm CDT | Comments Off on A (Verbal) Shoot-Out at the AgriCenter Gun Show

From Memphis Flyer, by Jackson Baker: In which our friend Mary Loveless takes a first-amendment stand against what she sees as second-amendment zealotry. Periodically, there is a gun show in Memphis at the AgriCenter on the eastern fringe of Shelby Farms, and it never lacks for customers. On Saturday, December 22, last year, there was […]

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