Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Urban Redo

Let's take a mulligan on the last 50 years of Memphis city planning.

That's what we had to do with this massive Jackson Avenue urban renewal tract from 1961, immediately north of St. Jude (from the Commercial Appeal's Memphis Memories).

Memphis renewed the area cleared as suburbish strip malls. 40 years later, it had to renew the renewal.

Absence of decay is not presence of vitality. Demolition is not design.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

$5 Dollar Cover, No Cover and No UDC (Yet)

Here are 2 great events and 1 contest deadline coming up in the next couple of days. Hurry!

A rapidly approaching (maybe Wednesday, April 22) deadline for the the Commercial Appeal's Your $5 Cover Night Out contest.

Five Dollar Cover Night Out Contest Upload pictures and videos of your $5 Cover-style night out in Memphis. We want to see what you did on the weekend - did you check out a band at the HiTone, go to a roller derby bout or record swap, or head to Beale Street for a big night out? Whatever you did, we want to see it.

the prizes are sweet - two tickets to the local $5 Cover premiere and two VIP passes to the Indie Memphis film fest later this year

For more info, go to

Thursday night, there's the biggest TechFuel yet:
What happens when you
  • fly in two top thinkers in innovation, culture, technology, and media for a panel discussion,
  • retain the services of an international renown DJ,
  • serve up good food and drink,
  • and invite entrepreneurs, technologists, and new media mavens to chill for two hours?
You get the extravaganza LaunchMemphis calls TechFuel.

I hope you will take the time to join us, Adrian Ho, C.C. Chapman, and DJ Mr. White for an evening unlike any other served up in Memphis. The event will be held Thursday, April 23rd from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at EmergeMemphis (516 Tennessee Street, Memphis, TN). It will be a great time for you to meet with your fellow technology, social media, and startup enthusiasts. There is no cost to attend, but we ask that you RSVP on Facebook here or to

Also Thursday night, Livable Memphis is having another Pizza with Planners session, this time about the very important, long-anticipated Unified Development Code, aka the UDC.
Pizza With Planners: A Citizen's Guide to How Your City Works.

This next session is on the Unified Development Code and how it will provide tools for neighborhoods to become more livable.

Please note that this (and future sessions) will be held at the Hooks Public Library.

RSVP to Sarah via email or phone 901-725-8370. See you there!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NoMore EyeSore

Hell Yes, It is Hell!:  Desolate Parking Lot in Downtown Memphis

Decaying buildings don't threaten Memphis; devitalizing suburbanism threatens Memphis.

Not discrete aging structures ill-defined as eyesores, but an entrenched system of speculative emptiness, willfull destruction, oblivious discontinuity and bland development.

Time to give up boring, neosuburbanist visions of an always tidy city, and focus on the rebuilding blocks of a sometimes messy, increasingly beautiful and necessarily vital city.

Hell No, it Doesn't Look Like Hell:  Old Bridges Across the River at Memphis

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Thursday, April 02, 2009


Mark the County Commission's approving the purchase of the Greenline by taking a Google Earth based trip from Midtown to Cordova,

Or if you want to explore it yourself (without getting up), check out the route in Google Maps, or play with it in Google Earth.

3 observations:
  1. the organization called the Greater Memphis Greenline seems marginalized in the recent progress. They have rated nary a mention in the most recent stories. Meanwhile, Shelby Farms is all over the story, as fundraiser and manager, after little mention before (other than as eastern terminus). Something is missing here. Perhaps, as the deal with CSX came closer, the quasinonymous purchase group called Memphis Community Connector gave their funds to Shelby Farms who in turn donated them to Shelby County. But why is Greater Memphis Greenline, after being the apparent public face for so long, now barely mentioned? Doesn't matter as far as Greenlining goes, of course, but the true story would help the next citizen activist push the boulder up and over the hill.

  2. Fewer and fewer articles refer to it as "the Greenline". Recent stories have called it a walking trail or the CSX trail. On top of that, I've heard rumors that Shelby Farms will rename it. While I'm neutral about the last issue (if it is an issue), I'm not neutral about this (if it is an issue). Greenline is a great simple name. Greenline.

  3. Shelby Farms' stewardessship could mean the Wolf River Bridge is repaired much more quickly, which would be a very good thing.

    Crossing the Wolf River on the Greenline

    Crossing the Wolf is the Greenline's premier "wow!" moment.

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