DOUG CARPENTER | THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL
“Build up, not out.”
While that directive remains a guiding mantra for the City of Memphis’ 3.0 strategy to increase density and conductivity in our city, the City’s recently revealed $200 million “Accelerate Memphis” plan shows us that “build up” can also apply to our self esteem, our expectations and our connections.
Over the years, my creative communications consulting firm has tended to gravitate toward projects that, whether prompted by substantial private investment or general public desire, inspire deeper, more visible connections among Memphians. From music and professional sports to parks, bikes, and bridges, we see opportunities to create authentic situations—through the power of communications and design—in which people and places can feel part of and contribute to Memphis’ culture.
Our firm has never felt alone in our commitment to advance Memphis; though when I read this white paper (which I encourage you to read ) to accelerate Memphis, my confidence in our administration’s role to lead us all in that commitment was confirmed.
I admire and applaud the flexibility of this administration to balance the physical density drive to build up, coupled with the wisdom of building up our citizens, communities, and shared culture. This flexibility has arguably provided a platform to pinpoint neighborhood-centric opportunities that collectively continue Memphis’ momentum.
Momentum in the form of citywide park improvements — not in a broad sense for optics, but in a detailed, defined approach based on research and neighborhood desires.
Momentum in the form of blighted buildings becoming active, vibrant libraries for learning and millions in broadband wireless internet invested in neighborhoods to close the knowledge gap.
Momentum in the form of lighting and sidewalks, streetscaping, and maintenance measures that will affect both our curb appeal and our fellow neighbor’s safety.
By design, elected officials should represent the entirety of their constituency. This plan — a product of years of planning, engagement, collaboration, and strategy — clearly does just that. And I believe this plan will pay dividends not only in every neighborhood but also for every citizen.
Here’s to building up our pride, our connections, our community, our legacy. Here’s to building up Memphis.