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Sun Oct 14, 2012, 09:56 AM

a nice column about the "green" movement in Memphis


New and planned features like the Woodland Discovery Playground are changing the face of Shelby Farms Park, which now connects to the heart of Memphis via the Shelby Farms Greenline. Connecting cyclists to the city further, a growing web of bike lanes extend deep into new pockets of the city, where GrowMemphis' efforts have sown dozens of community gardens in formerly barren urban areas.

A converted MATA bus christened the Green Machine will soon begin hauling fresh fruits and vegetables into our city's so-called "food deserts," part of a project that involves such disparate groups as advertising firm archer>malmo and the graduate program of city and regional planning at the University of Memphis. MATA itself has joined the fight, adding hybrid and biofuel vehicles to its fleet, with an ambition of going all-sustainable as soon as possible. The bike racks on the fronts of some buses are further proof of our city's collective commitment to a new future.

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Reply a nice column about the "green" movement in Memphis (Original post)
Celebration Oct 2012 OP
kurt_cagle Oct 2012 #1
Celebration Oct 2012 #2

Response to Celebration (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 10:16 AM

1. Green as Tourism Incentive

I find it fascinating that the Green movement has increasingly become a marketing strategy by cities to make these cities seem more "livable" and in the process actually making it so. Air quality improves, clogged streets become bike arteries, traffic noise drops, local produce in Farmers Markets both provide fresh alternatives to grocery stores but also spur those grocery stores to buy local for their produce as well. City planners start to think about green spaces and walkability indexes. The cities become a bigger magnet for green businesses, which also has the effect of pushing more traditional industrial businesses to either become greener or to move their facilities, in the latter case denying them the top talent that increasingly migrates to the green cities over their industrial counterparts.

Once over the initial hump of changing a community's mindset the verdantization of a community tends to initiate a virtuous cycle. It doesn't happen overnight - it may take a couple of decades - but the difference between green and industrial communities are increasingly becoming obvious, and those corporations that are reliant upon an indifferent populace in order to minimize their reclamation costs are now increasingly finding it difficult to find such places to operate, or to lure people there to stay long term.

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Response to kurt_cagle (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 11:08 AM

2. I agree with this

And the bike trails have made a big difference here. Now bike shops abound, kids are getting more exercise, families have wholesome free activity opportunities, and the whole vibe of the city seems to change. And yes, there are synergistic effects. This is a really big "church" town, being in the bible belt, and a whole lot of the churches here outreach to the large poor population through green initiatives--community gardens seem to be springing up everywhere, and there are lots of programs to fix broken bikes and distribute them to poorer sections of town.

Fortunately some of our business leaders have strong ties to the community and we have two new pedestrial/bike bridges across the Wolf River, one made with some sort of sustainable wood of some kind. And the bridge doesn't even have a corporate logo on it! There is still such a thing as altruism for its own sake, at least in a few places.

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