What smart cities can learn from Memphis

16 мая 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

car Smart Crosstown

What smart cities can from Memphis

With successes in battling urban Memphis is demonstrating creative to foster neighborhood revitalization. now has lessons to share with on urban planning, neighborhood and ‘bootstrapping.’

The story of sprawl in begins as early as the 1950s and one of the first suburban shopping in the country, Poplar Plaza, at the edge of the city’s eastern The sprawl continued in earnest the ‘70s, cutting into the county with the deliberateness and of a Mississippi River current as gobbled up land further and east. An interstate loop was around the city, then Eventually a third offshoot break off to wend its way around family homes, malls, fields, movie multiplexes and car lots.

While the city actively worked to abort the the flow is beginning to abate as and more entrepreneurs, planners, families and government itself inward, back to the city and its

The This is We mural was created on Avenue during its revitalization The idea that other cities may have something to from Memphis is a new one, a one, yet completely plausible recent successes.

The first lesson is to not let the rigidity often with planning get in the way of progress.

“Local government here is to be flexible, learning to be nimble, to reorient and be able to respond quickly to these neighborhood-driven says Tommy Pacello, manager for the Mayor’s Innovation Team. Incidentally, another for cities might be to get yourself a team. This one, by the Bloomberg Foundations beginning in has worked to reduce gun violence and economic vitality to core within the city.

Giving in to Growth

The neighborhood efforts references are epitomized by the creation of the Avenue Arts District a once-forgotten street in the nearly neighborhood of Binghampton in Midtown. The is a half-mile revitalization project by a few key players in the neighborhood. Through a of festivals, pop-up markets and the dedication of a handful of restauranteurs and and one gutsy action of citizens bicycle lanes and head-in spaces along the street the proved to the city what be done and made clear it was they wanted to see in their

And, to its credit, the city Not only listened but, the adoption of the 500-page Unified Code in 2010, “there is now a process by which the neighborhood are brought into the discussion and the goal is that if we bring in the sooner, then they can be instrumental on the design of the project,” Josh Whitehead, planning for the Memphis Shelby County of Planning and Development. “What wanted it (the UDC) to be is flexible to allow, and to make redevelopment inside the city.”

“They’re thinking about placemaking, and thinking about concept of lean urbanism, is this whole idea about how do we build great out of baling wire and twine and not about over-engineering projects,” Pacello.

As counterintuitive as it may seem from a planner, long-range may not be in the best interest of a city. instead, makes the case for land use control and points to Oregon, as example. That city has a state-implemented “urban boundary,” a line in the sand that no development occurs that line until the within reaches a certain

It is an effective impediment to urban But in an older area of town, makers and manufacturers are being upon by residential and commercial concerns, Whitehead says. the city of Portland can rezone property and they do that as a big neighborhood it’s so restrictive.”

His “The language of code to be as freewheeling as possible.”

Thinking in the beginning, starting off manageably pop-up shops and temporary spaces or street festivals, a neighborhood’s vested interest in its of town. The analogy is of a parent and The child decides she wants to trombone but, instead of out and paying hundreds of dollars for an that may be left behind in order, the parent rents The budding musician gets a for the instrument, shows a willingness to and the responsibility of it. Once the parent is something more permanent is

And once it’s considered, the or city must act quickly and in responsible fashion. This may reworking sewers, adding or away with street or knitting those neighborhoods through pedestrian and bike-friendly of ways, as is the goal of the Mid-South Streets and the Mid-South Regional initiatives. Both work to, in bring the city together a network and patchwork of pedestrian-friendly roadways, pathways and green

The Big Impact of Small Investment

In Memphis was deemed one of the worst for cycling. Two years and 50 miles of bike lanes later, it was one of the Most of those lanes are the city limits and many the revitalized areas of Cooper-Young. Square. Broad Ave. and through a system of white and crosswalks.

New bike lanes popular midtown neighborhoods Young and Overton Square.

is one of only a few cities nationwide to had this sort of success from the bottom up, says Newstok, program manager for Memphis. a driving force such initiatives. “We policy happen,” she says the community. “It was a true effort.”

While the city appears to safe pedestrian culture, and a street already scheduled for is a relatively low investment, there are investments that show the dedication to a neighborhood’s desires. In Square, a vibrant entertainment of the 1960s and ‘70s that saw and restaurants abandoned years the needs of the district’s revitalization met in the form of a $12 million investment in a new parking garage with an water retention basin to potential flooding of the area nearby Lick Creek.

car Smart Crosstown

The was the last piece of a puzzle by local entrepreneurs, developers and theatres expanding into the

Across Midtown, another is the redevelopment of the 1.5 million sq. ft. Sears and distribution center. Vacated in it has sat empty since and, it, surrounding streets and homes deteriorated as well. Once money was in place, the final needed was $15 million from the for easements. With the chance at revitalization and the private investments the city could hardly say no to the small ask once the interest was apparent and private funding

“The way that redevelopment has place, cities around the are learning from (it),” Pacello. “What they did was really clever because went in and they spent a of years learning the neighborhood, the neighborhood, highlighting why this was valuable and kind of uncovering the value of the neighborhood.”

If allowed to organically change and the result can be a neighborhood as vibrant as with its many shops, eclectic homes and residents, and a that draws over every year.

The Power of

A smart city must to its strengths, leverage its assets for success. Such assets can be such as a commanding view the high ground overlooking the River or an already burgeoning and culture scene in walkable such as Overton Square and The nascent Innovation District has the of being sandwiched between a medical and biosciences district and historic and reinvigorated Downtown.

One of Broad Ave. says are the mid-century buildings of relatively size. “They were the building an end user could into, and doesn’t have any experience, and figure out how to renovate

The renovation possibilities are easily and explained, simply realized. The has been “bootstrapped” Pacello with a community-driven, micro-investment of and the “New Face for an Old Broad” realizing $20 million in private 25 new businesses open and several art popping up in the area.

“An thing about Broad is that none of those are over a million dollars, just all been totally Pacello says. The developers of the Crosstown revitalization project support from healthcare and groups.

Nearby, at Sears Crosstown, the opposite was true of the space and the challenge more complex. of relying on smaller entrepreneurs, the called upon the vast of healthcare and educational resources in the finding interest for the future in the Church Health Center, St. Children’s Research Hospital, Le Bonheur Healthcare, Rhodes the Memphis Teacher Residency Gestalt charter high and others.

Newstok’s message to cities looking to become is to not give up, that persistence off. She works with associations to realize dreams and she that many of those take time. But she also that the desires of a community be heard if its voice is loud and if those dreams are viable.

might not have a lot of resources,” she “but it is sheer will all of this happen.”

car Smart Crosstown
car Smart Crosstown
car Smart Crosstown
car Smart Crosstown
car Smart Crosstown


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