Archive for July, 2013

by (RSS) Livability, Planning and Urban Design | July 31st, 2013 3:00pm CST | 1 Comment

From Sustainable Cities Collective: Some American cities, though different in shape, size, and culture, share traits that make them great places to live, work, and play. In my four years at Ball State University, I was fortunate enough to travel with my urban planning program to many cities across the country, including: Chicago, Illinois; Boston, […]

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by (RSS) Livability | July 30th, 2013 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Looking for City’s Equity, Check Out Public Spaces

From Next City: If you are looking for the true source of democracy in a society — if you are looking for the places where equity flourishes — you will find it in the public spaces of cities. It is there, in the streets and parks and plazas, where rich and poor meet as equals […]

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Now, we’re really worried about the state of things downtown. Over the past decade, the Riverfront Development Corporation has been the target of several controversies but there has been nothing but praise for the dependable quality of its landscaping and maintenance of downtown parks and the median on Riverside Drive.  While the rest of downtown […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government | July 29th, 2013 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Brokest Cities in U.S. (and Memphis Isn’t One of Them)

From Daily Beast: When Detroit filed for bankruptcy last week, it was the largest city to go belly up in U.S. history. But it was also a false flag of despair. Municipal bankruptcy is rare; Governing estimates that 0.06 percent of local governments have filed for bankrupcty protection in the last five years. And on […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | July 26th, 2013 3:07pm CST | Comments Off on The Importance of Historic Preservation in the Life of a City

From CEOs for Cities: Historic Preservation and the Identity of a City Photo from flick user JasonParis Every city has its own unique identity.  This identity is embodied in its citizens and also its buildings.  For example, Boston is defined by its narrow winding streets and historic brick colonial buildings; and New Orleans is defined […]

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by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | July 25th, 2013 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on City Planning Anyone?

From citiwire.net: The field of city planning emerged in U.S. at the dawn of the 20th century and helped shape a rapidly urbanizing nation. Between 1900 and 2000, the nation’s population grew by 205 million, and its land patterns transformed from 20 percent to 80 percent urban. It is hard to imagine how the American […]

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by (RSS) Regionalism, Trends and Issues | July 25th, 2013 12:01am CST | 4 Comments

This may surprise you but we’ve got to say it: we’re tired of hearing about the paramount importance of regions and how regionalism is the road to a successful future for Memphis. And we admit that we were some of the earliest people who talked about regionalism and the need for every one in the […]

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by (RSS) Transportation | July 24th, 2013 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Paying for Public Transit With Highway Tolls

From Atlantic Cities: Transit and highway authorities often view one another as competitors in the race for urban transport dollars, what with transportation funding increasingly harder to come by, but in metropolitan Tampa they’re making a rare go at a partnership. The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit have teamed up to […]

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by (RSS) Livability | July 23rd, 2013 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on How To Fund Public Transit Without Raising Fares or Cutting Service

From Atlantic Cities: When Mark Aesch became head of the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, back in 2004, the metro area’s bus system was in terrible shape. The agency carried a $4.5 million deficit and on-time performance was stuck at 76 percent. Officials wanted to approach the problem the way so many other city agencies were handling […]

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  Like 99% of the cities in the U.S., Detroit has two layers of government – City of Detroit and Wayne County – and we’ve been interested in how county government was holding up as the city government was flaming out. Some of the key indicators are seen in the graphs that we posted yesterday […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government | July 22nd, 2013 3:09pm CST | 1 Comment

From Bonddad blog: Some Ugly Economic Charts For Detroit Last week’s Detroit bankruptcy got me thinking about what the economy for that city looks like.  Thankfully, the FRED data system has some very interesting data points to consider. This is the one I found most interesting: the resident population of Wayne County where Detroit is […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | July 19th, 2013 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Freeway expansion: A Loser All the Way Around

From Better Institutions: There seems to be an uptick in freeway news lately, so I put together a highway edition of my semi-daily news roundup last week, including the updates on the apparent death of the Columbia River Crossing, the 1960s-style “Opportunity Corridor” proposed in Cleveland, and a broader anti-freeway movement taking hold in the […]

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by (RSS) Trends and Issues | July 19th, 2013 11:49am CST | 2 Comments

Previously posted March 8, 2012: It seems like a good time to swear off the Memphis-Detroit comparisons once and for all. They are a staple of online comments and the ultimate self-loathing putdowns.  Although Memphis has always had more in common with the gritty cities of the industrial Midwest than booming Sun Belt cities, it […]

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by (RSS) Education | July 19th, 2013 12:32am CST | 22 Comments

We’ve been writing about myths lately, and it’s impossible to keep up all the ones that have been advanced as part of the rush to judgment in support of municipal school districts. More than anything, the municipal school districts pursuit has been driven by fear, fictions, and suburban politics (with a strong dose of anti-Memphis […]

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by (RSS) Trends and Issues | July 18th, 2013 2:00pm CST | Comments Off on More People Living Alone and They Prefer Cities

Whatever you want to call people living alone — some go with solos, others singletons — the fact is there’s a lot more of them than there used to be. In 1950, solos accounted for about 9 percent of all U.S. households; today that figure is roughly 28 percent. As sociologist Eric Klinenberg points out […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government | July 17th, 2013 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Memphis: Housing 29% of Income, Low Water Fees and Trash Costs

From Governing.com: If you’re living in California, expect to spend a sizable chunk of your income on housing. That’s one of the many findings from the Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, conducted biennially to assess housing needs, conditions and costs. The bureau published profiles this morning for 29 metro areas detailing a variety of characteristics pulled […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Taxation | July 17th, 2013 12:48am CST | 4 Comments

In our last post, we wrote about Memphis myths, and we can’t think of a public policy that is shrouded in more mythology than the PILOT (payment-in-lieu-taxes) program. There are all kinds of justifications given by supporters of the program for waiving almost $100 million in city and county property taxes a year, and it […]

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by (RSS) Taxation | July 16th, 2013 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on County Property Values Dip More Than Memphis; Most Taxpayers Still Pay Less Despite Tax Hikes

There has been a lot of talk on the City Council and the County Commission and in the news media about increased taxes.  However, even with the higher rate adopted by the city and the likely higher rate the county will adopt, a lot of homeowners will have tax cuts.  It seems clear that a […]

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