Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Question Of The Week: Memphis' Best Streets and Neighborhoods

Our question of the week is inspired by the American Planning Association’s Great Places in America program. This year, it’s looking for 10 great streets and 10 great neighborhoods to be recognized later this year for the way they create lasting value for their residents and their city.

Belvedere Boulevard and Vollintine-Evergreen come instantly to our minds, but in Memphis, we are lucky to have an embarrassment of riches. APA says it’s looking to celebrate special places of character, quality and planning, and the deadline for nominations is May 15.

So, take a minute and give us your nominations and your explanations for why you submitted them. We’ll see what streets and neighborhoods get the strongest support, and we’ll forward them along to local APA leaders to consider as they send in their nominations.

Most of us know a great street and a great neighborhood when we see one, but if you need prompting, here’s some criteria from APA:

Great streets are ones that...

* Balance competing needs of driving, transit, walking, cycling, servicing, parking, drop-offs, etc.

* Are bordered by a variety of interesting activities and uses that create a varied streetscape.

* Have urban design, architectural features or both that may be exemplary in design.
* Encourage human contact and social activities.

* Employ hardscape, landscape, or both, to great effect.

* Promote safety of pedestrians and vehicles and allows for use over the 24-hour day (as appropriate for the setting or location.

* Promote sustainability through minimizing runoff, reusing water, ensuring groundwater quality, minimizing heat islands and responding to climatic demands.

* Have a memorable character and other outstanding qualities that make it stand out among other good streets.

Great Neighborhoods are ones that...

* Have a variety of functional attributes that contribute to a resident's day-to-day living (i.e. residential, commercial, or mixed-uses.

* Accommodate multi-modal transportation (i.e. pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers.

* Have design and architectural features that are visually interesting.

* Encourage human contact and social activities.

* Promote community involvement and maintains a secure environment.

* Promote sustainability and responds to climactic demands.

* Draw you in and make you want to take a closer look.

* Have a memorable character and other outstanding qualities that make it the best of many good neighborhoods.


LeftWingCracker said...

How about Peabody from Bellevue to McLean? That's a gorgeous area on the northern borders of Central Gardens and Idlewild, and lots of interesting houses.

Anonymous said...

South Main from National Civil Rights Musuem to GE Patterson is a great example of small businesses, restaurants, boutiques and residents (owners and renters) converging on a single street.

Cooper-Young is also a great street/junction for much the same reason. And with the new arts festival on South Main this October, both street/junctions will offer great local festivals.

Anonymous said...

One vote for Chickasaw Gardens

Anonymous said...

Overton Park between McLean and Evergreen for having survived the plan to gut that area with an interstate. Fortunateley that area is a historic district so the new houses blend in nicely with the old.

Anonymous said...

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