Archive for the ‘Planning and Urban Design’ Category

                    There is a lot of talk these days that we need a culture of planning, and that is true. Even more, we need a culture of following through. The truth is that for decades, planners have been producing shelf after shelf of reports and solid […]

Read More →

                    It is not possible to think of a place in Memphis that more deserves a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district than Binghamton. In fact, it’s been 11 years in the making.  That’s how long ago it was that a charrette – the Broad Avenue Planning […]

Read More →

            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 […]

Read More →

                  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 […]

Read More →

                      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 […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

              If it wasn’t bad enough that the U.S. Supreme Court put our political system up for sale when it inexplicably ruled that corporations are people, our local U.S. District Court has added insult to injury. It ruled this week that the Tennessee Billboard Regulation and Control Act is […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | March 10th, 2017 12:29am CDT | 11 Comments

                  Memphis has the greatest density of any city in our region, but it only barely leads Bartlett and Germantown. Meanwhile, it lags behind its peer cities in the number of people per square mile. Memphis Region Cities 2,053.3 – Memphis 2,049.2 – Bartlett 1,945.0 – Germantown […]

Read More →

              It’s really not a negotiation when one side has a gun pointed at its head. That’s the situation City of Memphis found itself in as it considered if it was willing to shrink the size of the city.  Considering that the state legislature made sure Memphis never had […]

Read More →

  In light of the announcement of another planning process for the riverfront, we are reposting this commentary from March, 2013, when Jeff Speck issued recommendations following his review and distillation of 19 previous riverfront reports and plans: Nationally-known planner, architectural designer, author, and New Urbanist co-creator Jeff Speck laid out six simple ideas for […]

Read More →

            Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is part of a growing coalition of mayors calling for more State of Tennessee funding support for public transportation. It is a promising sign that modern public transit may finally get the attention it deserves on Capitol Hill, albeit it is never easy to predict […]

Read More →

              We wrote 153 blog posts in 2016, and we always look back to see which subjects you had the most interest in.  Clearly, last year, that was parks, particularly the campaign to protect the greensward at Overton Park. The following are the 15 most-read blog posts of the […]

Read More →

              It’s the time of year when we pause to remember people and groups that we tend to take for granted. The University of Memphis is at the top of our list this year. Apparently, it’s a message that we were not supposed to miss. First, we were reminded […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Planning and Urban Design | October 20th, 2016 12:58am CDT | No Comments

It seems part of our DNA to take a “good enough” attitude when it comes to Memphis and to talk at length in conversations that aren’t about the pivotal – sometimes, uncomfortable – issues that can change the region’s trajectory. That’s why we are excited by the presentation next week by Gabriel Metcalf, the president […]

Read More →

In Memphis, geography is too often destiny. Where a person is born largely sets the choices and opportunities for one in four Memphians. There is a distinct geography where a large percentage of the 176,000 Memphians in concentrated poverty live. In 1970, 42 census tracts were in deep poverty, but by 2010, it had grown […]

Read More →

                It was a night in early February in 2007 when our community’s pent-up energy behind a “green agenda” burst into the open. Inspired by the impact that was foreseen for Shelby Farms Park, organizers created a meeting to imagine even more boldly about how a network of […]

Read More →

              The following is a proposal we received from a concerned Memphian: Payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) is a program which reduces or eliminates property taxes for a period of time as an incentive for investment in a new development or expansion of an existing business within the […]

Read More →

                    The Overton Park greensward parking controversy is a potent reminder of the passion that Memphians feel for their “Central Park,” the centerpiece for one of the most enlightened chapters in the city’s history, the one featuring two great parks and Memphis’ parkways. That they were […]

Read More →