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AmandaHugginkiss

Your ideas to improve Memphis

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I thought this thread would help kill time while we wait on building updates. I hoping that such a thread could help give city officials get ideas on how to make Memphis one of the hottest cities in the U.S.

*Note* these ideas are what they are. I didn't do any research or anything, I am just brainstorming.

-I would love to see Memphis get a theme park with thrill rides downtown. I am not sure, but isn't Memphis trying to get more people downtown, well I think that would be a good thing.

-2-3 500+ Eygptian styled highrises, preferrably around the Pyramid.

-East Memphis skyline receives a couple of office skyscrapers..

I gotta go to class..

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First of all, we need to require people to be able to read and write in order to vote. Our elected officials are what keep us behind Nashville. The thing we need most right now downtown are apartments (besides a grocery store). Occupance is full. Everything is going condo. Are there any new apartment projects coming online anytime soon? With the ballpark apartments and the Bristol fetching record prices, you would think apartment developers would be fighting over vacant land. My idea for a grocery store is a SuperTarger on the Dixie Homes site. This would be pretty much the same as the Super Wal-Mart on the St. Thomas project site in New Orleans. They did a really nice job there. Maybe then we could clean up the trash on poplar and give the crackheads a bus ticket to San Fransisco.

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Let's be careful this thread doesn't turn into a Memphis-bashing site, or a "Let's list all the ways we're behind Nashville" thread... :unsure:

IMO, Memphis needs to market itself to young, educated professionals. There are FAR fewer young professionals (YP's) these days than there were 30 years ago, and a young, highly educated workforce is very attractive to companies, especially technology-based companies.

I think Memphis can do that in a number of ways:

  1. Emphasize well-defined neighborhoods and sections of town

  2. Promote and recognize local talent

  3. Promote local music and capitalize on our already-vibrant music scene (ex: play local bands' music at the airport and in public buildings instead of classical music)

  4. Promote the diversity of Memphians

  5. Promote outdoor activities like kayaking on the Mississippi, trails and greenbelts, dedicated bike lanes, and 5ks/marathons

  6. Aggressively market Memphis at "youthful" venues

  7. Get rid of Memphis' "sleepy, slow-moving, Southern town" stigma by not presenting it (e.g. the city/county seal contains images of the Mississippi, a steamboat, and a cotton bale)

  8. Work on getting the crime rate lower

In short, I think we need to focus on Memphian talent and quality of life issues.

I think Memphis has a lot more going for it than most Memphians acknowledge, and we're doing far better at attracting and retaining young professionals than some notable peer cities. We've got a long way to go, but look how far we've come!

Memphis is definitely a diamond in the rough, but I'd rather be a diamond in the rough than a mass-produced, flashy, cheap one.

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Our elected officials are what keep us behind Nashville.

What makes you think we're behind Nashville. They're doing their thing and we're doing ours IMO.

I would like to see more apartments downtown. I would also like to see more companies downtown instead of out east in campus style developments. Why not put a campus style development downtown?! It doesn't even have to be high rise office buildings, but we need more employers in the city core to sustain the lifestyles of young professionals such as myself. A grocery store and a department store wouldn't hurt either. :thumbsup:

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What makes you think we're behind Nashville. They're doing their thing and we're doing ours IMO.

I would like to see more apartments downtown. I would also like to see more companies downtown instead of out east in campus style developments. Why not put a campus style development downtown?! It doesn't even have to be high rise office buildings, but we need more employers in the city core to sustain the lifestyles of young professionals such as myself. A grocery store and a department store wouldn't hurt either. :thumbsup:

I'm not so much concerned about bringing existing businesses to downtown as I am (1) keeping businesses here (avoiding the Concord EFS sellout by perhaps finding out how much pride local businesses have in making Memphis their hq city; I just think with some business owners (not all), there isn't enough of a boosterish spirit, they are ok seeing their company get gobbled up and jobs relocate to the hq city; there needs to be more owners like Hyde here and McColl in Charlotte), (2) growing local businesses, and (3) attracting new businesses to relocate significant operations here (such as IP and Servicemaster, although we should also recruit lower-tier companies as well).

I'd like to see an entertainment business incubator as well as a biomedical industry incubator. I'd also like to see us pursue energy industry opportunities and improve our education system by developing a private world-class research university; Rhodes, CBU, etc are great, but they aren't bringing the numbers of national and international students here that we need to convert into lifelong Memphians.

We need to recruit more international workers as well. I'd like to create an international district in Midtown anchored by a redeveloped Sears building, offering a one-stop shop for every international worker to get assimilated into this country, while providing comforting reflections of home through neighborhood ethnic shops and restaurants. Chinese, Egyptian, Italian, Venezuelan, Indian, they should all be welcome, and the local native Memphians should be the spearheads in throwing out the welcoming mat, while naturalized American Memphians should help serve as ambassadors to recruit (such as Ishii going out and promoting Memphis to Japanese) and mentors to help out in the adjustment to Memphis. Figure out an outline of a comprehensive plan, and ask around. I think a lot of immigrants would be willing to help out if approached in the right way.

Overall, the biggest thing I see a need for is greater promotion of the great things Memphis has to offer to its own residents and business owners. Enough of this humility and self-deprecation. It's a cut-throat world out there among cities, and no other city is going to help us grow. We shouldn't help other cities grow by deferring to them and promoting them. We need to aim high, and promote our can-do spirit.

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Enough of this humility and self-deprecation.

I think thats the old Memphis attitude. The new Memphis is full of proud citizens such as myself and many 'new' Memphians that have joined my company. We have a lot going on in this city. Whoever isn't proud of our downtown, world class zoo and museums, etc. should be ashamed. Although Memphis has problems, what big American city doesn't?

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I'm not so much concerned about bringing existing businesses to downtown as I am (1) keeping businesses here (avoiding the Concord EFS sellout by perhaps finding out how much pride local businesses have in making Memphis their hq city; I just think with some business owners (not all), there isn't enough of a boosterish spirit, they are ok seeing their company get gobbled up and jobs relocate to the hq city; there needs to be more owners like Hyde here and McColl in Charlotte), (2) growing local businesses, and (3) attracting new businesses to relocate significant operations here (such as IP and Servicemaster, although we should also recruit lower-tier companies as well).

I'd like to see an entertainment business incubator as well as a biomedical industry incubator. I'd also like to see us pursue energy industry opportunities and improve our education system by developing a private world-class research university; Rhodes, CBU, etc are great, but they aren't bringing the numbers of national and international students here that we need to convert into lifelong Memphians.

We need to recruit more international workers as well. I'd like to create an international district in Midtown anchored by a redeveloped Sears building, offering a one-stop shop for every international worker to get assimilated into this country, while providing comforting reflections of home through neighborhood ethnic shops and restaurants. Chinese, Egyptian, Italian, Venezuelan, Indian, they should all be welcome, and the local native Memphians should be the spearheads in throwing out the welcoming mat, while naturalized American Memphians should help serve as ambassadors to recruit (such as Ishii going out and promoting Memphis to Japanese) and mentors to help out in the adjustment to Memphis. Figure out an outline of a comprehensive plan, and ask around. I think a lot of immigrants would be willing to help out if approached in the right way.

Overall, the biggest thing I see a need for is greater promotion of the great things Memphis has to offer to its own residents and business owners. Enough of this humility and self-deprecation. It's a cut-throat world out there among cities, and no other city is going to help us grow. We shouldn't help other cities grow by deferring to them and promoting them. We need to aim high, and promote our can-do spirit.

Clobber, I could not agree more about creating an international district in Midtown. I have been trying to attract some investors/development companies to look at the Sears Tower. This building is the key to redeveloping the entire Cleveland/ Watkins corridor. An international district is just what Memphis needs to promote the diversity of this city especially Midtown. So since this topic is about what is needed to improve our city I will post my development proposal.

ATTENTION; ALL VENTURE CAPITALIST!!!

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What makes you think we're behind Nashville. They're doing their thing and we're doing ours IMO.

I would like to see more apartments downtown. I would also like to see more companies downtown instead of out east in campus style developments. Why not put a campus style development downtown?! It doesn't even have to be high rise office buildings, but we need more employers in the city core to sustain the lifestyles of young professionals such as myself. A grocery store and a department store wouldn't hurt either. :thumbsup:

Memphis does a lot of things better than Nashville, but we lag behind in job growth and making this a place people want to live. I'm glad that Memphis has stayed more true to its roots when Nashville sold its soul (I believe that this is reflected in country music's decline from originality to warmed-over greeting-card-lyric crap). However, it would be nice to have more high paying jobs like Nashville.

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Memphis does a lot of things better than Nashville, but we lag behind in job growth and making this a place people want to live. I'm glad that Memphis has stayed more true to its roots when Nashville sold its soul (I believe that this is reflected in country music's decline from originality to warmed-over greeting-card-lyric crap). However, it would be nice to have more high paying jobs like Nashville.

Don't get me wrong, Nashville is a wonderful city, but very different from Memphis. You say you wish Memphis had more high paying jobs like Nashville? I think we do, just in different industries. Nashville has healthcare, music, etc. while Memphis has transportation/distribution, research, etc. (St. Jude/Medtronic/Smith & Nephew). Like I said in my original post, they do there thing and we do ours. Memphis has its problems, but so does Nashville.

By the way, the boom in housing sales that Nashville was experiencing just slowed down dramatically. All the while, Memphis is still enjoying a slow but steady growth rate in housing unlike many other cities across the country. Memphis has always held a steady pace instead of going through major ups and downs.

Nashville got Nissan and Caremark. Memphis got International Paper and hopefully ServiceMaster. I think its great to have two important cities in one state! But I digress.....

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Sorry this is long - hopefully somebody will catch something interesting here...

1. New mayor. We have to be careful not to make Willie a scapegoat for everything. Some aspects of his administration have been admirable. But his antics, especially his blatant arrogance and combative relations with the City Council, TV anchors and others, have made him more of a distraction than he is worth. He needs to be replaced with a younger, more personable and dynamic individual - one who like many here on U.P. have a very bold and exciting concept of what Memphis can be. I have said before on this board that if Harold Ford Jr. loses his Senate race, the best thing he could do for Memphis would be to challenge Herenton for Mayor. He is popular enough among blacks and younger whites, and at least not despised among older whites, that he would be a uniting force for the city.

2. All-out assault on crime. The single biggest knock that people have about Memphis, both locals and outsiders, is that it is a dangerous, crime-infested city. It doesn't matter how fair this assessment is (and the statistics suggest it is pretty darn fair) - perception is reality. To be specific, we must take control of our children. I can't believe I'm actual quoting something Hillary Clinton said, but in this case, it may actually "take a village" because we have so many irresponsible parents. In our schools, churches, neighborhoods, community centers, everywhere - children with deviant behavior tendencies must be identified, isolated, and brought under control in such a way that they aren't threats to anyone, and have a realistic chance for a life that doesn't involve crime, drugs, jail, and violent death. Memphis can no longer be a breeding ground for dangerous thugs.

3. Stop teenage pregnancy. Why do we have so many irresponsible parents? Because so many of them weren't grown adults before they started having kids. And their kids aren't grown when they have kids, and on and on it goes. Children born to teenage parents in Memphis are almost guaranteed to be at a disadvantage in life...poverty, lack of enrichment in the preschool years, inadequate supervision, absence of male role models, etc. And from this, you get more criminal teenage boys and more pregnant teenage girls. The cycle must be broken - whatever it takes. Renew the committment to sex education and distribution of birth control (as a so-called conservative Christian, even I can admit that an abstinence-only policy is unrealistic). Offer annual cash payments to teenage girls in at-risk areas as long as they do not get pregnant. Mandatory after-school extracurricular activities to keep kids occupied with things other than sex (or crime for that matter).

4. Clean Up! 30 years ago, Memphis was considered one of the cleanest cities in America. Now, city roadsides everywhere except in the most exclusive areas are adorned with litter and weeds. Too many neighborhoods have a third-world look; houses with dirt lawns, junk everywhere, no shrubs or even a remote attempt at landscaping, and no sense of pride at all from their residents. The city and county need to put more jail inmates and other offenders to work taking care of the roadside problems. Private residences and business whose owners refuse to take pride in their properties should be forced to clean up through more vigorous code enforcement and fines; those who are unable to make improvements due to lack of income, age, etc., should be assisted by church mission projects, civic organizations, and school-organized youth programs that "adopt" certain neighborhoods and help maintain them. I know such programs already exist, but they need to become ubiquitous...with tens of thousands of citizens involved and not just a few hundred.

5. Grow up and not out. I think Memphis is starting to embrace New Urbanism as a movement. Financial realities are finally weighing in - neither Memphis nor Shelby County nor surrounding counties can afford constant construction and then rapid abandonment of infrastructure. There is ample empty space within the city limits to accommodate a population of well over a million people through more high-density developments. The city must find a way to help home buyers overcome other concerns about living in the city (crime, schools, higher taxes). I advocate a PILOT program for new home construction within the city. This kind of financial incentive will make living in Memphis a better value than anywhere else in the area. The influx of new residents will lead to an increase in retail sales, which means the city can recover much of the deferred property taxes through increased sales tax revenues.

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I think thats the old Memphis attitude. The new Memphis is full of proud citizens such as myself and many 'new' Memphians that have joined my company. We have a lot going on in this city. Whoever isn't proud of our downtown, world class zoo and museums, etc. should be ashamed. Although Memphis has problems, what big American city doesn't?

I'm glad to hear that you're observing something different. Are the newbies as proud as we are of our city? We need all the unabashed boosters we can get. One of the reasons I admire MPact and what they do for young professionals and for the city.

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Clobber, I could not agree more about creating an international district in Midtown. I have been trying to attract some investors/development companies to look at the Sears Tower. This building is the key to redeveloping the entire Cleveland/ Watkins corridor. An international district is just what Memphis needs to promote the diversity of this city especially Midtown. So since this topic is about what is needed to improve our city I will post my development proposal.

dude, the next time I'm back in town, we gotta grab a drink or something. Your proposal is far more involved and advanced, with the financing and everything, but I'd love to bounce ideas about not just the Sears building but how it can be incorporated into a larger district, anchored by the renovated Sears and fed by the proximity to Rhodes, the Zoo, etc. Something to bridge the medical district to the Overton Square area.

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Memphis does a lot of things better than Nashville, but we lag behind in job growth and making this a place people want to live. I'm glad that Memphis has stayed more true to its roots when Nashville sold its soul (I believe that this is reflected in country music's decline from originality to warmed-over greeting-card-lyric crap). However, it would be nice to have more high paying jobs like Nashville.

I think in some ways we are ahead of Nashville in terms of making Memphis a place for people to live. In other ways, we are behind. I think part of it is as simple as packaging and PR. There are some things that are a bit more substantial that we can improve upon. No doubt about it, we have much we can improve upon. But the potential is there to be a world-class but medium-sized city. Just have to confront and embrace the challenge of fulfilling our city's potential.

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Don't get me wrong, Nashville is a wonderful city, but very different from Memphis. You say you wish Memphis had more high paying jobs like Nashville? I think we do, just in different industries. Nashville has healthcare, music, etc. while Memphis has transportation/distribution, research, etc. (St. Jude/Medtronic/Smith & Nephew). Like I said in my original post, they do there thing and we do ours. Memphis has its problems, but so does Nashville.

By the way, the boom in housing sales that Nashville was experiencing just slowed down dramatically. All the while, Memphis is still enjoying a slow but steady growth rate in housing unlike many other cities across the country. Memphis has always held a steady pace instead of going through major ups and downs.

Nashville got Nissan and Caremark. Memphis got International Paper and hopefully ServiceMaster. I think its great to have two important cities in one state! But I digress.....

You're not saying it at all, but I want to make a proactive comment because you mention the areas Nashville has earned a great reputation in (deservedly so), and I think (fear) that some Memphians might believe that just because Nashville is great in health and music (or any other city is great in a certain sector, like Charlotte and Birmingham in banking) somehow means that we can't be and shouldn't venture in that territory. I think we should do just that. There are so many health care companies in a city like Nashville we should explore attracting some entrepreneurs from there to come here to build a business here. Or bring them from Birmingham. I think we should take the battle to the turfs of other cities. Not necessarily all at once because of the limited reseources of government I don't want to get too spread thin from the public sector (but if the private sector can plan/organize something, go for it), but I don't believe in accepting "roles" when it comes to cities. Nashville didn't settle on its "role" as a country music town. Charlotte is beginning to diversify away from being solely a banking town. Detroit is trying to get beyond auto. I know we're not settling on logistics. And I'm glad to see that.

It doesn't mean abandoning those industries you're an entrenched leader in, but venturing into other things and growing as a result of the experience. I'm dreaming big and perhaps stepping on toes, but I want Memphis to be a huge player in hospitality, retail, healthcare, music, banking, education, etc. I don't want Memphis pigeonholing itself and thinking that just because another city (not even necessarily an in-state city) has a foothold in an industry that Memphis automatically can't compete and shouldn't venture into that territory. honestly, I don't care who's great in a certain industry sector. I want a well-rounded region with a diversified leveraged economy. We just need to keep the players in place to preserve our positions in those areas we already excel in, so we don't regress there while we improve in other areas.

Again, I don't have an issue at all with your post, everything you said was right on. But I just wanted to introduce something else into the mix that I think may be simmering under the surface of maybe the city or some of its leaders, biz and otherwise, if not here, and perhaps provoke some discussion/brainstorming as a result of it. Hash it out, maybe figure out ways to use the ideas to enhance the topic of this thread.

Just think -- If the projects already announced come to fruition (cross your fingers), the snowball will get even bigger. The next couple years are critical not just in seeing those projects come true, but in planning on leveraging the momentum, the attention, the eyeball traffic from increased visitors, to unveil an evolving region. The city, the chamber, the CVB need to figure all that out now, come up with a cohesive plan. It's truly an exciting time, and just think, none of the new interstates are really on line yet (although a portion of 69 is coming up -- greatest interstate numbering EVER). What has happened, what is happening, what has been announced, what does that all mean when it comes to what WILL happen in our future? I think our individual influences potentially could have a greater impact than we imagine, if we can get the ears of the right people, even if it's just our neighbors getting more involved and more enthused about the city and region.

End soapbox. Step off. Scurry to beer.

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Sorry this is long - hopefully somebody will catch something interesting here...

Your ideas are interesting because they are more under the surface. I would add that we need to enhance our recreation/encourage and promote healthy living. Crime, education, and exercise. Maybe later I'll put together a plan to at least attack exercise. Crime and especially education appear a little more difficult and complex to tackle.

The only characteristic I would add to the mayor, and I think you were getting to it, was perhaps a different apparent sophistication in delivery.

I think the clean up could be achieved with volunteers, with support and backing from government and media.

I think the growing up and not out is in some tangential way related to healthy living. I would just extend the concept to a concerted campaign to promote healthy living habits, maybe triple the number of miles of bike lanes in the city, I know the park system in the past has had some trouble, but I'd like to see more parks; I like the idea of the CSX trail, but don't know if that's ever going to happen.

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Schools and crime...everybody knows.

beautification and densification...more parks, bike paths, improved sidewalks, streets lined with trees, etc. Also, more mixed-used developments with ground level retail, and more low to mid-rise residential projects in Midtown and East Memphis (ex. Lexington on Sanderlin)--I expect local firms (aka Hnedak Bobo, LRK, Belz, Boyle, etc.) to drastically improve the built environment over the next few decades--new urbanism has definitely caught on. A denser, more carefully designed, and more thoroughly landscaped Memphis is a major step in making our city more desirable to outsiders. I like high rises too but they don't necessarily improve quality of live.

And can we please get some light rail. Airport first, then out east, then to Desoto/Tunica.

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Sorry this is long - hopefully somebody will catch something interesting here...

1. New mayor. We have to be careful not to make Willie a scapegoat for everything. Some aspects of his administration have been admirable. But his antics, especially his blatant arrogance and combative relations with the City Council, TV anchors and others, have made him more of a distraction than he is worth. He needs to be replaced with a younger, more personable and dynamic individual - one who like many here on U.P. have a very bold and exciting concept of what Memphis can be. I have said before on this board that if Harold Ford Jr. loses his Senate race, the best thing he could do for Memphis would be to challenge Herenton for Mayor. He is popular enough among blacks and younger whites, and at least not despised among older whites, that he would be a uniting force for the city.

ARGH ! While Memphis surely needs new leadership, the last thing on earth it needs is entrusting complete control of the city to another Ford. The whole family needs to be out of the city, the state, and the solar system on a rail. After 35 years, they've never given a damn about Memphis/Shelby County beyond what's in it for them. For whatever Herenton's faults are, he can proudly say he ISN'T a Ford. :angry:

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crime typically drops if you improve education. the lack thereof of education inself leads to instablity, a lot of schools today are more concerned with babysitting than they are actually educating.

Please no one get offended by this, but i also think there is a cultural problem among a percentage of the population. i'll get into it more when im not squeezed for time, because i have to leave for my class now haha. either way there is a mentality among some that promotes the "crime", "dont work" attitude. Memphis isnt the only city with this problem.

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Sorry this is long - hopefully somebody will catch something interesting here...

1. New mayor. We have to be careful not to make Willie a scapegoat for everything. Some aspects of his administration have been admirable. But his antics, especially his blatant arrogance and combative relations with the City Council, TV anchors and others, have made him more of a distraction than he is worth. He needs to be replaced with a younger, more personable and dynamic individual - one who like many here on U.P. have a very bold and exciting concept of what Memphis can be. I have said before on this board that if Harold Ford Jr. loses his Senate race, the best thing he could do for Memphis would be to challenge Herenton for Mayor. He is popular enough among blacks and younger whites, and at least not despised among older whites, that he would be a uniting force for the city.

2. All-out assault on crime. The single biggest knock that people have about Memphis, both locals and outsiders, is that it is a dangerous, crime-infested city. It doesn't matter how fair this assessment is (and the statistics suggest it is pretty darn fair) - perception is reality. To be specific, we must take control of our children. I can't believe I'm actual quoting something Hillary Clinton said, but in this case, it may actually "take a village" because we have so many irresponsible parents. In our schools, churches, neighborhoods, community centers, everywhere - children with deviant behavior tendencies must be identified, isolated, and brought under control in such a way that they aren't threats to anyone, and have a realistic chance for a life that doesn't involve crime, drugs, jail, and violent death. Memphis can no longer be a breeding ground for dangerous thugs.

3. Stop teenage pregnancy. Why do we have so many irresponsible parents? Because so many of them weren't grown adults before they started having kids. And their kids aren't grown when they have kids, and on and on it goes. Children born to teenage parents in Memphis are almost guaranteed to be at a disadvantage in life...poverty, lack of enrichment in the preschool years, inadequate supervision, absence of male role models, etc. And from this, you get more criminal teenage boys and more pregnant teenage girls. The cycle must be broken - whatever it takes. Renew the committment to sex education and distribution of birth control (as a so-called conservative Christian, even I can admit that an abstinence-only policy is unrealistic). Offer annual cash payments to teenage girls in at-risk areas as long as they do not get pregnant. Mandatory after-school extracurricular activities to keep kids occupied with things other than sex (or crime for that matter).

4. Clean Up! 30 years ago, Memphis was considered one of the cleanest cities in America. Now, city roadsides everywhere except in the most exclusive areas are adorned with litter and weeds. Too many neighborhoods have a third-world look; houses with dirt lawns, junk everywhere, no shrubs or even a remote attempt at landscaping, and no sense of pride at all from their residents. The city and county need to put more jail inmates and other offenders to work taking care of the roadside problems. Private residences and business whose owners refuse to take pride in their properties should be forced to clean up through more vigorous code enforcement and fines; those who are unable to make improvements due to lack of income, age, etc., should be assisted by church mission projects, civic organizations, and school-organized youth programs that "adopt" certain neighborhoods and help maintain them. I know such programs already exist, but they need to become ubiquitous...with tens of thousands of citizens involved and not just a few hundred.

5. Grow up and not out. I think Memphis is starting to embrace New Urbanism as a movement. Financial realities are finally weighing in - neither Memphis nor Shelby County nor surrounding counties can afford constant construction and then rapid abandonment of infrastructure. There is ample empty space within the city limits to accommodate a population of well over a million people through more high-density developments. The city must find a way to help home buyers overcome other concerns about living in the city (crime, schools, higher taxes). I advocate a PILOT program for new home construction within the city. This kind of financial incentive will make living in Memphis a better value than anywhere else in the area. The influx of new residents will lead to an increase in retail sales, which means the city can recover much of the deferred property taxes through increased sales tax revenues.

You have some excellent ideas, but many are easier said than done. I don't know how to get parents to be more responsible. Schools can only do so much. I think the problems with MCS mostly have to do with the people attending them. Perhaps we could have school vouchers so that the kids that want an education can get one at a good private school and we can isolate the rest in the public schools. There we can focus on making them functional in society. Make school last from 8-5 six days a week all year long. The longer they are away from their irresponsible parents and deliquent older siblings the better. Require that every student be involved in an after school activity such as a sport or the newspaper. Crime is also a difficult problem to solve. The most immediate need is longer and harsher sentencing. Nearly every hard criminal I read about in the CA has been arrested many times before. If we kept them in jail the first time, a significant amount of crime could have been prevented. I think the DA is doing a good job about this, but the judges need to do their part too. We also need more jail space.

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Everyone has great ideas.. I love it.

I would love to see a light rail system with key routes from the airport to downtown and other key tourist and retail attractions.

I also would like to see more trees lining the streets of downtown with consideration of not obstructing key, street-level views of the skyline.

My realistic views consist of the following:

1) Clean up the crime. (More community centers)

2) More focus on city education

3) More and more retail

4) More DT pedestrians during the day. This will actually come with more condos being built downtown. It can get really hot and humid in Memphis and it makes it very unpleasant to be out during afternoon hours. Artistic water fountains, bike trails with "tree tunnels, etc.

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Everyone has great ideas.. I love it.

I would love to see a light rail system with key routes from the airport to downtown and other key tourist and retail attractions.

I also would like to see more trees lining the streets of downtown with consideration of not obstructing key, street-level views of the skyline.

My realistic views consist of the following:

1) Clean up the crime. (More community centers)

2) More focus on city education

3) More and more retail

4) More DT pedestrians during the day. This will actually come with more condos being built downtown. It can get really hot and humid in Memphis and it makes it very unpleasant to be out during afternoon hours. Artistic water fountains, bike trails with "tree tunnels, etc.

I just came back from Vance Park down on the riverfront. It's AWESOME! So cool to sit there and watch the monorail at Mud Island, the trolleys, the river, and the M-Bridge in the distance. Cool view, cool town! :thumbsup:

I think a light-rail network between Downtown, Midtown, and E. Memphis would be very helpful. Downtown is the most dense residential area, and E. Memphis is the most dense commercial office/retail area. Personally I think that should be a higher priority than even the airport.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's much city leaders can do about the school system. But that's not a problem limited to Memphis, for sure, and Memphis' schools are a heckuva lot better off than places like New Orleans, Detroit, and (believe it or not) Austin, TX.

How do y'all think city leaders can address this insecurity complex most Memphians have about their city? Memphis has a LOT going for it, yet most Memphians do NOT know that, thanks primarily to our local media.

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I notice that they've been working on the railroad in East Memphis and Germantown when I'm going to and coming from school...to do this, they've essentially built a second railway next to the existing one...I wish they'd leave these pieces in place, connect them, and go ahead and get started on light rail...

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How do y'all think city leaders can address this insecurity complex most Memphians have about their city? Memphis has a LOT going for it, yet most Memphians do NOT know that, thanks primarily to our local media.

I don't know why Memphians don't realize the potential of this city. You have the heartbeat of the U.S. as the distribution center enabling any package to be delivered in 2 days or less (within the U.S.). THe city arguably has one of America's best nightlifes and streetlevel activity (the city isn't by no means boring). Tennessee alone is getting its share of big business relocations. Man it goes on and on. The people of Memphis really need to embrace it ( good example is New Yorkers). First and foremost, they need to hire all of you innovative posters for city development :D .

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ARGH ! While Memphis surely needs new leadership, the last thing on earth it needs is entrusting complete control of the city to another Ford. The whole family needs to be out of the city, the state, and the solar system on a rail. After 35 years, they've never given a damn about Memphis/Shelby County beyond what's in it for them. For whatever Herenton's faults are, he can proudly say he ISN'T a Ford. :angry:

Based on the latest polls, Junior may be headed to the Senate so you wouldn't have to worry about him as Mayor.

All I'm saying is that Junior, based on his past statements and positions, operates in a different fashion than what is typical of the Fords or many other black politicians in urban areas. Many derive their power by taking advantage of and even whipping up mistrust, resentment, jealousies, and feelings of victimhood that black communities harbor against whites. I cannot recall such tendencies from Junior's rhetoric during the past 10 years.

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