The conversation about what small advantages in Memphis can become major economic advantages is continuing, and so we want to post recent comments here to make sure you’re keeping up (and can contribute):

Jon said…

Memphis also has a great radio station —

Gregg said…

I meant to post this and time got away. I agree with all that’s been mentioned about the arts and the parks. That’s what makes people happy once they get to Memphis.Clearly from a purely economic standpoint (i.e. GETTING people to Memphis), our location is a huge advantage for logistics and distribution. FedEx knows this. All the rail companies know this. We HAVE to leverage that by thinking long-term about making it easy to ship goods to and from Memphis.

Heavy freight is boring, the pay scales are relatively poor and you don’t need a “creative class” type of employee. However, the speed at which we can get lighter goods to global destinations is a huge advantage with FedEx. The head of the regional chamber touched on this today as it relates to medical devices . The fact we can get a replacement knee to Mumbai in under 24 hours is a huge competitve advantage. Obvious initiatives would be to get a 2nd rail line into Pidgeon Industrial Park to break the CN monopoly on rail there.

Another would be the super terminal to get the BN out of the Poplar corridor (and move people on that…not freight).

Anonymous said…

If anything, our location, which is an advantage for logistics businesses, is a decided DISADVANTAGE in another way; to wit, we are isolated from the synergies that being close to other cities would bring.

2 hours from Little Rock
3 hours from Nashville3 hours from Jackson, MS
5 hours from St. Louis
4 hours from Birmingham

We’re kind of stuck out here in a Delta sea of cotton fields with every other city of consequence half a day’s drive away.As an example of synergies, Atlanta is planning for high speed rail to Chattanooga. Now if I’m recruiting for Chattanooga, I’m pushing that concept mightily and telling everyone who’ll listen that they can live in Chattanooga or that area and be in Atlanta in 1 hour to work. That’s just an example.

Santo said…

Your blog is required reading for my students, so hopefully they’ll see and respond to the gentle prod. (Or maybe I’ll just make your question of the week an essay on the midterm!)

We did have one nod toward the Aerotropolis idea, and a bit of discussion about music and art. By the way, the CA had a similar question for readers in the Sep. 16 viewpoints section: What is Memphis’ single greatest asset? 15 of the 17 responses printed on Sep. 23 mentioned arts and/or music.

Does that mean it’s true? (I’m considering exploring the potential relationship between art/music and neighborhood level revitalization in a course this spring. Stay tuned.)

Smart City Consulting said…

Dr. Santo: Thanks for the compliment. We look forward to any insights from your students, and in line with the arts/music/creativity, we think our next question of the week will be about whether readers believe that Memphis is more innately creative than other cities.

In the wake of the comments about creativity, we had one person suggest that all of our talk about creativity in present-day Memphis is an exercise in myth-making. It raises an interesting question, particularly if we want to make sure that great music isn’t just in our rear view window (although it’s hard to think that with folks like Amy LaVere still around).

gatesofmemphis said…

Myth-making in what way? If they meant it pejoratively, let me say that making myths is ipso facto proof of our creativity.

A stagnant-to-destructive parallel anti-culture has also thrived throughout Memphis history. Creative Memphis’ evil and abusive fraternal twin. We should be honest about its existence, but it has always been on the wrong side of world history and maybe, one day soon, Memphis history.great thread. I’m looking forward to the next question