Monday, April 13, 2009

Memphis: Looking Smart

Natural Resources Defense Council’s Kim Ranney notifies us about an interesting new website feature that uses Memphis as a spotlighted scenario demonstrating the impact of simple design changes.

Picturing Smart Growth, the new feature, “visualizes how communities ripe for transformative change can grow and develop while saving open spaces, revitalizing neighborhoods and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through improvements to walkability, public transportation, public safety, infill development, and more.”

The Memphis images
, illustrating "Smart on a Small Scale," show how simple changes like sidewalks, shade trees, and street lamps can turn unappealing streetscapes into pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.

In addition to the featured scenario, the website maps 70 locations across the U.S. To view the visualization, you can open the map, zoom in on a location, and see a Good Maps satellite view, some context about the metro area, and a slide show detailing how each can be converted, step-by-step, from sprawl, vacant property, or disinvestment into a lively, beautiful neighborhood.

Here's the overview on the new feature from NRDC Smart Growth Director Kaid Benfield's blog.


Zippy the giver said...

Live the dream, but, in Memphis, who's dream is it? The people living in those run down areas?
They gave up on that dream.
The environment ALWAYS wins, so, we should have managed our environment so that when it wins, it wins for us too, but, that's not what happened in Memphis under any mayor, council, county mayor, or state governor.

Anonymous said...

of course you will have to remove the indigenous population and raze the existing slums-but as most Planners know, one must break a few eggs to make an infill omlette, no?

Louise said...

These images were created by Steve Price of Urban Advantage ( Mr. Price worked on both the plan for Soulsville, USA, as well as the Broad Avenue Planning Initiative and Charrette. He created wonderful images for both projects. The images in your link are from his work in College Park.

Steve's website is a wonderful place to start to visually understand the concept of urbanism. Check out all his images.

By the way, Guy Weaver of Weaver and Associates (urban archeology) tells me that the City has given permission for new pole banners in the Broad Avenue neighborhood touting the newly created Broad Avenue Arts District. This is another step in the revitalization of this neighborhood, most of the effort coming in the last 4 years due to the diligence and hard work of the neighborhood business association.

Anonymous said...

weren't there new banners along the Mid America Mall, too?
I'm just asking....

Louise said...

Anon. 9:59

Yes there are new banners on Main Street. The CCC does a great job of replacing them to reflect the events and changes in Downtown.

The banners on Broad are new, however. The land owners and business association have been working very hard to brand the neighborhood and develop it as a premier destination for the visual arts. The Urban Art Commission moved to Broad in the last 10 months and has been a catalyst to the re-creation of this historic neighborhood center to an arts haven.