Author Archive

by (RSS) Economic Development | June 23rd, 2017 12:02am CDT | No Comments

                      In the National Urban League’s definitive report, State of Black America, it ranks the largest U.S. metros for its Equality Index. Metro Area Income Equality – ranked from most to least equal – black and white income – 71 metros 1 – Riverside-SanBernardino-Ontario, CA […]

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                        There is a lottery in Shelby County every day for an average of 37 people. The winners get a head start to more education, higher income, better health, and less lifetime stress. The others get the odds stacked against them and face obstacles […]

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            Memphis and Liverpool continue their connections this summer with a “songwriters exchange” called From Memphis to the Mersey.  Two people from each city will be selected to engage in an intensive experience in the historic music cities. Memphis’ connections to Liverpool began several years ago with an outreach by […]

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                    In a post last week, I wrote that although there is the widespread attitude that Memphis and Shelby County are the victims of forces beyond their control, current conditions instead result from choices that were made here, some of them many decades ago.  I expanded […]

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                  The following is the closing post in our two-parter about the work by nationally known urban planner Toni Griffin that led to the launch of the Memphis comprehensive plan, Memphis 3.0.   You can read the first post here. Ms. Griffin was hired to write a report […]

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                      Four years ago, the groundwork for a comprehensive plan for Memphis was laid by nationally known urban planner Toni Griffin. It’s the back story of Memphis 3.0. Impressed by the massive plan unveiled for Detroit, she was asked to share the lessons of her […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development | June 9th, 2017 12:11am CDT | 7 Comments

            We’ve written recently that Memphis needs a disruption strategy to expand the economy and to create more jobs.  It seems clear that doing the same and expecting different results is not working. More evidence came this week with the jobs growth for the first quarter of this year compared […]

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by (RSS) Leadership, Trends and Issues | June 7th, 2017 12:24am CDT | 18 Comments

                  One of our oft-used aphorisms is “every system is perfectly designed to produce the results that it gets.” Memphis is just such a system, and that’s why it’s surprising when the news media and others are stunned when a new study or ranking is released that […]

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                  By Jimmie Covington Shelby County’s assessed value of property for tax purposes this year – which includes reappraisal figures – is up almost $2.1 billion from last year, certified tax roll figures released April 20 by the County Assessor’s Office show. Countywide, the increase is 12.4 […]

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                        While much of our attention is diverted by President Donald Trump’s controversy du jour, it’s easy to be distracted from the damage that would be done to cities by his Administration from its proposed budget. It was largely predictable. After all, the man […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Regionalism | May 30th, 2017 12:20am CDT | 6 Comments

                            Brookings Institution’s Metro Monitor is a set of objective metrics aimed at guiding the efforts of leaders to advance regional economies.  It tracks the economic performance of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas on growth, prosperity, and inclusion. Brookings said: “These […]

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                Some of us are children of the Sixties so our impulse when it comes to Confederate statues is to remove Jefferson Davis’ statue in a prominent downtown park – where he is surrounded by various detritus from the Lost Cause movement – and ignore a state law […]

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by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | May 25th, 2017 11:43am CDT | 7 Comments

                I first met Gene Pearson and Tim Bolding about 35 years ago. I met Gene through his wife (at the time, his significant other), Louise Mercuro, and together, they made a formidable team of smart, passionate planners and urban thinkers.  He was a regular commenter on this […]

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                Only a few metros in the U.S. are seeing real wages grow at a notable rate and the Memphis MSA is not one of them. That said, metros seem to be dividing into the “haves” and the “have-nots” and only a few dozen record the 2-3% wage […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | May 23rd, 2017 11:05am CDT | 1 Comment

                Former Memphian Bill Day has done it again. He has won his seventh Green Eyeshade Award for excellence in cartoons. The award recognizes the “very best journalism in the southeastern United States” and it is presented by the Southern members of the Society of Professional Journalists.  He […]

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                      Build it and they will come. That seemed to be the prevailing attitude at the EDGE meeting where apartment developers were added to the list of beneficiaries for city and county tax waivers. As happens at so many similar meetings in our community, millennials […]

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                    Back in 1976 when Shelby County Government was restructured, it got more than a mayor. It also got a culture of competition and rivalry between the newly modernized county government and its City of Memphis counterpart across Main Street. Memphis had voted in 1963 to […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Tourism | May 12th, 2017 12:24am CDT | 12 Comments

                    The news media have recently been reporting about the economic engine that is tourism, spotlighting a report by a national tourism organization that it produces $3.2 billion in direct visitor spending. It is good news for the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau which has weathered […]

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