Friday, October 05, 2007

America's Great Streets And Neighborhoods

A few months ago, we asked you for a list of Memphis' great streets and neighborhoods as a result of American Planning Association's project to find the best in the U.S. We thought you might be interested in who made the cut. Here are the winners.

Spoiler alert: no Memphis streets or neighborhoods is on either list. That doesn't mean that we don't have some that belong in the company of these great ones.

As a reminder, here's what said about the program:

APA celebrates the first 10 Great Streets and 10 Great Neighborhoods designated through its new national program, Great Places in America. Launched last spring, Great Places in America celebrates places of exemplary character, quality, and planning. Places are selected annually and represent the gold standard of communities. The designated neighborhoods and streets are defined by several characteristics, including good design, functionality, sustainability, and community involvement.

"We salute the dedication and contribution of countless individuals whose efforts have not only helped bring about these wonderful streets and neighborhoods, but have made them flourish," said APA Executive Director and CEO Paul Farmer, FAICP. "We are honored to recognize their efforts to create safe and sustainable places to live, work, and visit. These Great Places are singled out because they showcase what can be achieved in communities across the country."


Anonymous said...

I don't mean to go off topic, but I'm in the 24 to 34 young professional age group. I've talked to several others in this group since late last night and they all said they are looking to move in the next year. They saw Memphis going in the wrong direction before the election and now think that trend will pick up speed.

Smart City Consulting said...


You're not off topic. This is a thread that runs through everything we write about.

While the impulse is to pick up and move, we would suggest that you stay and work to change things. The dinosaurs are slowly dying off and hopefully, soon (very soon if we're lucky), it will be yours.

Keep in mind, four years from now, we'll need a new mayor and the nontraditional examples in other cities should inspire us to look outside the normal suspects to come up with someone who can take Memphis in a direction that appeals to your generation. We hope you'll stay here and take up the battle with us to find that person and get them elected. Hopefully, we'll have someone from your age group to consider.

Sadly, Memphis (like most metro areas in the U.S.) is already bleeding 25-34 year-olds. There's about 15 cities that are sucking up all the young talent. Now we need you more than ever.

We're going to write about the election after we've had more time to think it through, but I don't think there's anything last night that indicates that we'll pick up speed. We are clearly off in the wrong direction on many issues, but if the last four years are any indicator, the next four will be largely lethargic punctuated with moments of bombast.

The good thing about cities is their incredible resiliency to survive whatever leadership we throw at them. Memphis will survive, but it's your generation that will determine if it succeeds.

We hope you stay. We know how difficult the choice is.

Anonymous said...


Get out while you're young and mobile. Don't delay. Blow this popsicle joint asap. The only way to send a message is to vote with your feet, b/c the politicians can mine the racial hatred to keep getting elected forever. Staying here doesn't help anyone, it only punishes yourself.
I made the mistake of moving back here 14 years ago thinking things were getting better in Memphis, boy was I ever wrong.