Friday, September 28, 2007

Continuing The Discussion About Economic Advantage

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 -- www.AllMemphisMusic.com

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

9 comments:

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.

Gregg said...

no doubt gates. i wish i'd been aware enough back in the 70s, 80s and 90s to put myself around some of the "myths" i hear about today...Chilton, Grifters, Oblivians, Dusty, the Antenna, Al Green, Stax and a ton my head won't conjure up because of the damage Gonerfest did last night. I'm trying to catch up...but pushing 40.

Listen to 89.3 at night to hear some of those "myths" we've made.

Anonymous said...

God, at least I'm thankful that for whatever stupid reason, I was into new wave/punk somewhat and got to experience the scene at the Antenna Club periodically in the early to mid 80's. what I can remember of it sure was fun.

Respectable suburban dad of three here.

Anonymous said...

Just posted previously, also, I agree with gates; all cities and regions engage in myth-making and always have, I mean, Nashville as Athens of the South??? That was pure PR Chamber of Commerce mythmaking.
I firmly believe that Memphis music is STILL relevant and great. But we need to make this city accepting of the "outsider" ethic to keep that and all our arts going strong. Keep Austin wierd??? let's keep MEMPHIS weird, hell our wierdness trumps that whitebread college town anyday. OUrs is real, and sometimes a little scary.
Now if we could get the crime rate down some...

eat said...

SMC - if that was me, what I remember was wondering out loud if Memphis was inherently more creative than other cities. As someone who is involved in - and supportive of - the arts community, I'm just not sure. And I definitely don't want to be connected to any destructive 'parallel anti-culture'!

bob said...

Bob throws out a challenge.

Smart City Consulting said...

eat: No, you asked a pertinent, non-incendiary question: Is Memphis inherently more creative than other cities? That's a really interesting question, and extremely relevant right now.

Subsequently, we got an email from someone who said that all the talk about creativity in Memphis is just that: talk. Noting that we have said that cities who are really working to compete in today's economy are emphasizing creativity and entrepreneurship, he said that Memphis actually has less creativity than most cities in which he has lived. That's what provoked our comment and we'll continue this with our next question of the week.

gatesofmemphis said...

I wanted to say that I wasn't lumping whoever made that statement with the anti-culture. The anti-culture bit was my (unclear) way of saying I know the opposite exists around here.

I think a study that could gauge a city's creativity would be great. If that study were to be done, I would like to see researchers figure out how to remove wealth and disposable income as variables. All wealth being equal, what cities are the most creative?

zhuzhulee said...

BMP en PDF Convertisseur
GIF en PDF Convertisseur
PNG en PDF Convertisseur
PDF Creator