Archive for February, 2014

by (RSS) Livability, Planning and Urban Design | February 28th, 2014 3:28pm CST | Comments Off on Melbourne Over Sydney: Good Planning, Innovation, Quality Public Space, and Decent Transit Win Out

From ArchNewsNow: Why has Melbourne grown faster than Sydney? Sydney is Australia’s acknowledged global city and main finance centre, yet despite hosting the Olympic Games, Sydney’s growth since 2000 has been much slower than Melbourne’s Relative development costs for greenfields house and infill apartment, Sydney vs Melbourne. Source data: Natonal Housing Supply Council A recent […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | February 27th, 2014 3:58pm CST | Comments Off on Metropolitan Business Plan Website Goes Live

A few months ago, our friend John Lawrence wrote a nine-part series on this blog about the Memphis and Shelby County Regional Economic Plan, the local edition of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Business Plan.  The plan now has a website that elaborates on the themes of his posts and fills in more information about the […]

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by (RSS) Trends and Issues | February 26th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Suburbs Lead in Household Income

From the Best Times: Germantown, Collierville and Arlington lead the way in household incomes among cities in the Memphis area, recently released U.S. Census Bureau numbers show.   Germantown and Collierville are both above $100,000. Households in Lakeland and Bartlett also have higher median incomes than Olive Branch, which has the highest median in DeSoto […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government, Transportation | February 26th, 2014 12:45am CST | 1 Comment

The process to select the next general manager of Memphis Area Transit Authority is well under way, and it’s one of several important personnel decisions to be made in the near future that will shape the future of the city. In addition to MATA, there are also the leadership positions at University of Memphis and […]

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by (RSS) Education | February 25th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Vital Skills Our Kids May Be Missing

From The Urban Child Institute: We have talked and written about the importance of healthy brain development for about a decade, and we were often the lone voice on this subject in our community. However, these days, articles about brains are everywhere – National Geographic, Time magazine, Psychology Today, and the New York Times, to […]

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by (RSS) Education | February 24th, 2014 3:32pm CST | Comments Off on Series About RTI2 at Bluff City Ed Blog

Our friends over at the Bluff City Education blog wrote an interesting series about the State of Tennessee response to Instruction & Intervention (RTI²) initiative, which is the support system for those struggling to adapt to Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  The blog is the voice for both Shelby County educators and those who engage […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | February 21st, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Why Do Some Governments Like Ours Struggle to Provide Digital Services

From Governing: State and local governments have made significant improvements in how they use the Web to serve citizens. The Center for Digital Government has been highlighting the best websites for 18 years and describes last year’s winning sites as “first-class” in terms of service delivery, productivity and performance. But some recent audits have revealed […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Poverty | February 21st, 2014 12:24am CST | 4 Comments

The life of the poor in Memphis is so often about navigating through choices that are too often self-defeating, regardless of which one is chosen. There’s the penalty that is paid if you are a resident of public housing and get a job.  There’s the challenge of finding services for your child in neighborhoods where […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | February 20th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Dan Conaway Writes About Our New Pharisees

Dan Conaway has been on a roll lately with his commentaries on Memphasis, providing an articulate, interesting voice on all things Memphis. Here’s his latest: Pharisee |ˈfarəsē| noun • a member of an ancient religious sect, distinguished by strict observance of traditional and written law, commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity. From the […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Poverty | February 19th, 2014 3:08pm CST | Comments Off on Reducing Inequality Is About Wealth, Not Jobs

From Governing: Inequality of wealth and income in the United States is as high as it has ever been. Family net worth is at a 43-year low. Nearly one out of six Americans relies on food stamps, a program which at the moment is threatened with extinction. In New York City, about 50,000 people, of […]

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by (RSS) Livability | February 18th, 2014 3:18pm CST | Comments Off on Bringing Activity to Vacant Lots

From Sustainable Cities Collective: Robert Linn of the Southwest Detroit Business Association recently turned to the Placemaking Leadership Council’s LinkedIn group for inspiration about how to transform some vacant lots into people-friendly spaces. Members offered up many creative suggestions, while sounding a common theme.  The process is as important as the physical improvement. “Passionate communities […]

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by (RSS) Shelby County government | February 18th, 2014 12:20am CST | 4 Comments

Shelby County Government has been a prisoner of the past. Or more specifically, it is captive to poor decisions about public policies made as long ago as 35 years, policies that set county government off in directions that produced so many of the problems that handicap it today. In truth, the problems of county government […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | February 17th, 2014 3:00pm CST | 2 Comments

It’s that time of year again. Advertisers, marketers, banks, the news media, public officials and others combine to misinform the American public that the federal holiday that occurs on the third Monday of February is named Presidents Day. Since the 19th Century, the federal holiday observed in February has always been George Washington’s Birthday. It […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | February 14th, 2014 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Entrepreneurs: It’s About Talent, Not Low Taxes and Friendly Business Climate

From Atlantic Cities by Richard Florida: Creating high-growth, high-impact entrepreneurial enterprises has become a common goal of cities. Metros and states have cut taxes, implemented entrepreneur-friendly business policies, launched their own venture capital efforts, and underwritten incubators and accelerators – all in the hope of creating the next Apples, Facebooks, Googles, and Twitters. But what […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | February 14th, 2014 12:26am CST | Comments Off on Finding A Sharper EDGE for Economic Development Strategies

We were writing in our last post about how the tax waiver incentive program in Memphis and Shelby County is broken, but even more to the point, despite our largesse in doling out almost $100 million in tax waivers a year, our economic trend line is still going decidedly south. We wrote about changes from […]

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by (RSS) Poverty | February 13th, 2014 3:19pm CST | Comments Off on Your Brain on Poverty

From Atlantic Cities: In August, Science published a landmark study concluding that poverty, itself, hurts our ability to make decisions about school, finances, and life, imposing a mental burden similar to losing 13 IQ points. It was widely seen as a counter-argument to claims that poor people are “to blame” for bad decisions and a rebuke […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government | February 12th, 2014 3:24pm CST | Comments Off on So, Libraries Are Supposed to Become Extinct, Right?

From Pacific Standard: With nearly 2.5 billion materials circulated through more than 16,000 public branches, 2013 was one of the strongest years for libraries in the past decade. And things are looking up. • America’s network of public libraries is older than America itself. You can make a strong case that the precursor to our […]

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It’s hard to get too excited about the announcement that Memphis and Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) is undertaking a “top-to-bottom review” of our local payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) program, which currently waives an amount approaching  $1 billion in local taxes in 10 years. Memphis Daily News reporter Amos Maki reported that EDGE has hired […]

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