Author Archive

by (RSS) Downtown Revitalization, Economic Development | May 2nd, 2012 3:00pm CST | Comments Off on Drive Local Change with Corporate Leadership, Not Gimmicks

“Detroit is going to be on the cover of TIME magazine three, four, five, ten years from now as a miracle city.  It is all because of what we do.” – Dan Gilbert, Chairman, Quicken Loans Quicken Loans is branding itself and completely repositioning Detroit’s image.  The company is doing it without insulting anyone else, […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | November 28th, 2011 1:50pm CST | 7 Comments

Memphis is filled with fools… there, I said it! When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 29th, 2011 12:49am CST | 1 Comment

Business retention and expansion are priorities Governor Haslam announced this week that the Department of Economic and Community Development will pour most of its energy and resources into retaining and expanding existing Tennessee businesses.  This is good news and a long ignored strategy. The Governor is correct to recognize that many new jobs can come […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 28th, 2011 12:40am CST | 1 Comment

I know Miami is not Memphis and nothing solidifies that feeling like a visit to the heart of South Florida’s business district.  Brickell is not your typical modern business district.  It is directly adjacent to the historic downtown, very compact and also one of the most dense residential neighborhoods in America on a per square […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 26th, 2011 12:37am CST | 11 Comments

Yes, I’m serious I was at Miami’s South Beach recently and caught myself marveling at the same three things over and over again.  Okay, I marveled at quite a few things.  But three design features kept appearing again and again.  South Beach is great because it is the perfect scale, offers extraordinary public access and […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 25th, 2011 12:50am CST | 37 Comments

It is time for a new gimmick Can we please give artists a rest?  They are asked to save everything.  Please paint a mural here.  Please put a sculpture there.  Please play my benefit for free.  And my favorite of all… “Wouldn’t these old buildings just make the best arts district?” Memphis now has at […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | March 12th, 2011 12:27am CST | Comments Off on New Employee Handbooks on the Way: But is policy the enemy of progress?

Mayor Wharton’s administration has been on quite a tear since taking office.  He has dealt with major problems at the animal shelter and in fleet services.  He has proposed restructuring departments because of budgetary constraints and for improved efficiency.  He has sought feedback from several committees and committed professionals alike on the problems of the […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | February 22nd, 2011 12:54am CST | Comments Off on Treating Budget Crisis as Opportunity

We re-post this from April of last year: Sweep the streets when it’s dark! Several years ago cities thought they were in crisis.  Revenues were falling, expenses were growing and emergency funds were depleted.  Some aggressively changed tact, or challenged people or cut costs.  Most waited it out hoping the storm would pass. Memphis has […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 21st, 2010 11:35am CST | 18 Comments

Lately, I have been sensing a fair amount of negativity here on Smart City Memphis.  We may have been at this so long that frustration is getting difficult to shake off.  Instead of rehashing all of the reasons we are right and restating the case for this idea or that solution one more time, I […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Planning and Urban Design | September 16th, 2010 3:49pm CST | 8 Comments

This region must stop fighting over scraps, get moving on something meaningful and decide what is really important to our future. Southern cities are in an awkward point in history.  Our populations have grown in a time as the economy moved away from the agriculture that established us, through the industrial revolution that built some […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | September 1st, 2010 2:56pm CST | 3 Comments

We will soon see more new faces and new structures through elections, possible consolidations and general leadership changes in this region.  I am asking these new faces to please respect the time, vision and expertise of the greatest minds in Shelby County by embracing Sustainable Shelby as a mechanism to inspire a cohesive push toward […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 20th, 2010 10:56am CST | 8 Comments

This is the great recession, right?  No one is moving on anything, right?  Besides, Memphis is an extraordinary city with everything to offer and if there was a move to make it would be here, right? Then how is it that over only two weeks in July, Olive Branch, Mississippi, took the gold medal in […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | August 4th, 2010 12:19am CST | 2 Comments

  Last winter I wrote about five hours spent in Downtown Denver because I was so marvelously inspired by what was happening there.  I have not felt that excited since… until now.  A few days in DC and my outlook on life could not be any better.  There is no better time than now to […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | June 11th, 2010 12:34am CST | 7 Comments

I want our new consolidated metro government to have leadership that embraces fiscal, social and environmental sustainability.  I’d like this leader to have experience ensuring stability in property values.  And I’d like this leader to have vision for our community’s future.  After hearing the Germantown Mayor address the Memphis Kiwanis Club, I am putting a […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 24th, 2010 12:06am CST | 2 Comments

Suddenly, it seems, Americans have become concerned about the mounting national debt.  Why now?  I’d like to think there is something terrifying about $12.5 trillion or $41,000 per person.  I’d like to think that the debt-driven financial meltdown magically produced revelations of new found responsibility.  I’d like to think that people suddenly realized the technological […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 17th, 2010 4:23pm CST | 7 Comments

Who thought driving cheap eco-cars would really happen? If you have been following the construction of the I-269 loop surrounding the outskirts of the Memphis region, you know that one of the primary tools of disinvestment causing, tax revenue depleting, character sucking suburbanization is well on its way.  This highway will make Sam Cooper look […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 8th, 2010 12:46am CST | 6 Comments

This is not easy to say but I need to clear my conscience by apologizing. To Steve’s Tire and Auto on Poplar Avenue:  I am sorry.  Your crew has replaced tires, repaired breaks and been a terrific example of customer service.  I can’t believe I considered someone else. To my neighbors:  I am sorry.  We […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 2nd, 2010 12:56am CST | 2 Comments

Sweep the streets when it’s dark! Several years ago cities thought they were in crisis.  Revenues were falling, expenses were growing and emergency funds were depleted.  Some aggressively changed tact, or challenged people or cut costs.  Most waited it out hoping the storm would pass. Memphis has an opportunity to use our budget crisis today […]

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