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Memphis Metropolis

Memphis Metropolis

By Emily Trenholm
Memphis Metropolis is about the built environment – the building blocks that define the look and feel of our city and region. From the downtown skyscrapers to the historic neighborhoods to the suburbs, we’ll talk to community leaders and residents, examining architecture, transportation, public art, parks, development and redevelopment plans, and much more, from a variety of perspectives. Your host is Emily Trenholm. Memphis Metropolis airs every Monday from 1 to 2 pm. Central on WYXR 91.7 FM.
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My City Rides: Rethinking How People Get to Work. With Andy Nix, Megan Klein, and Cole Bradley.

Memphis Metropolis

My City Rides: Rethinking How People Get to Work. With Andy Nix, Megan Klein, and Cole Bradley.

Memphis Metropolis

Liberty Park Development Ushers in a New Era for a Historic Community Space. With Ashley Cash, Mary Claire Borys, and Cole Bradley.
Ashley Cash and Mary Claire Borys from the City of Memphis Divison of Housing and Community Development visit Memphis Metropolis to discuss the new Liberty Park community and youth sports complex being built on the former site of the MidSouth Fairgrounds. Ashley, Mary Claire, and Emily discuss the land's interesting history - as a race track, casino, municipal swimming pool, among many other uses - and plans to knit the new facilities into the broader campus that also includes the Kroc, Children's Museum, Tiger Lane, and the Liberty Bowl.  More information about Liberty Park:
November 26, 2021
Making Midtown's Cooper Street a Carbon Neutral Corridor. With Jacob Davis and Charlie Santo.
Architect Jacob Davis from Archimania visits Memphis Metropolis to explain the firm's innovative efforts to reimagine Cooper Street as a "carbon neutral corridor" by renovating its aging building stock in a sustainable and connected manner, beginning with their own headquarters. Later in the program, commentator Charlie Santo comes by to discuss other strategies - from street trees to micro-transit - that could reduce the carbon footprint of Cooper and similar streets.  Resources and Information Visit the Archimania website for more information about their work on carbon neutral corridors.
November 20, 2021
Making All Places Matter. With Jamilica Burke and Cole Bradley.
What neighborhood or zip code families live in can have huge implications for how well they live, in terms of health and longevity, income, transportation, and access to economic opportunities. This week Memphis Metropolis welcomes Jamilca Burke, chief strategy and impact officer for Seeding Success. Seeding Success is helping facilitate a multi-sector initiative called Place Matters that aims to "define the challenges of our social and economic systems and policies, and identify sustainable solutions that make a shared vision for a thriving community a reality. The goal will be to improve the connection between the systems that support families like housing, community development, economic development, education, transportation, health, and workforce development and allow residents to access these resources efficiently." Later in the show, regular commentator Cole Bradley returns to do a deeper dive into the disparity between places and the elements of a neighborhood where everyone can thrive.  Read more about and get involved with the Place Matters initiative here. 
November 14, 2021
Land Installment Contracts Pose a Danger to Hopeful Homebuyers. With Andrew Guthrie and Austin Harrison
Land Installment Contracts (LICs) are a dangerous rent-to-own scheme that can leave potential homebuyers in the lurch instead of leading to homeownership. Although not a new kind of agreement, LICs have proliferated in Memphis in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, after which many single-family homes were purchased by large out-of-town investors. This week, Dr. Andrew Guthrie from the University of Memphis Dept. of City and Regional Planning visits the program to discuss some research he and U of M colleagues are undertaking around the impact of LICs on Memphis families and neighborhoods. Later in the program, regular commentator and housing expert Austin Harrison returns to talk about what's happening around LICs in other parts of the U.S., in terms of both research and activism.  Further information A Memphis Mirage: How Home Mortgage Alternatives and Increased Equity Firm Ownership Diminish Wealth in Low-Income Communities” by Wade Rathke (founder of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) and Diné Butler examines how large equity firms diminished home wealth in low-income neighborhoods in Memphis and the nation in the years following the Great Recession. White paper from the Hooks Institute.  United Housing. For help or resources if you think you have or are being offered a land installment contract.
November 7, 2021
What's Behind the Big Rent Increases in Memphis? With Jacob Steimer and Austin Harrison.
MLk50 reporter Jacob Steimer visits Memphis Metropolis for a discussion of his recent reporting about dramatic increases in local rents and how families are being impacted. Later in the show, regular commentator Austin Harris provides some historical context to how the local rental market has changed over the past 15 years and talks with Emily about potential policy changes that could keep rents in line. 
October 24, 2021
Community Organizing During COVID. With Justin Merrick and Cole Bradley.
Justin Merrick from Center for Transforming Communities (CTC) visits Memphis Metropolis to talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected community engagement and organizing.
October 17, 2021
Strengthening Neighborhood Centers Through Strategic Rezoning. With John Zeanah.
This week we take a deep dive into the qualities that make neighborhood commercial districts attractive, appealing, and livable - and how proposed local zoning changes could over time eliminate undesirable land uses and contribute to the revitalization of those places. Returning to the show for this discussion, Director of the Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development. 
October 1, 2021
V & E Greenline Celebrates 25 Years. With Dennis Ostrow and Cole Bradley.
This week, Dennis Ostrow from the volunteer-built and -maintained V & E Greenline visits to discuss the origins of the city's first green line, its enhancements over the years, and its importance to the VECA neighborhood. Later in the show, commentator Cole Bradley and host Emily Trenholm talk about the many community benefits to green lines and greenways, in the areas of transportation, health, neighborhood connectivity, and community building.  VECA's annual fundraiser for the V & E Greenline will be Saturday, October 9, 2021. Plan to attend! Resources and Information V & E Greenline
September 26, 2021
How Resilient is Shelby County? With Jared Darby and Charlie Santo.
With extreme weather events like Hurricane Ida happening so frequently, communities around the U.S. are considering their own preparedness. This week, Memphis Metropolis sat down with Jared Darby from the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability and Resilience. After the severe local flooding in 2011, Shelby County received federal grant funding to craft a resilience plan and just as importantly, build projects that would help mitigate future flooding. On the show, Jared discusses those ongoing projects and more. Later in the program, regular commentator Charlies Santo from the University of Memphis came by for a deeper dive into the meaning of resilience and the importance of social vulnerability in addressing it. Charlie and Emily also discussed the Regional Greenprint Plan, which built the foundation for local sustainability efforts and indirectly also ushered in a new era of planning in Memphis and Shelby County. More information Resilient Shelby Memphis and Shelby County Resilience Plan
September 19, 2021
Rethinking the Role of Agriculture in Real Estate Development. With Daron Joffee and Marlon Foster.
Daron Joffee, also known as Farmer D, visits Memphis Metropolis to discuss how incorporating agricultural uses such as farms, gardens, and farmers markets into "agrihoods" (agriculture-based neighborhoods) can promote land conservation and the farming sector while also benefiting residents through a greater sense of community. We were also joined by Marlon Foster, executive director of Knowledgequest in South Memphis, an early proponent and practitioner of the agrihood concept through the Greenleaf Learning Farm.  Resources and Information Citizen Farmer website, including a link to the CF podcast and book.  Greenleaf Learning Farm at Knowledgequest
September 12, 2021
Endangered Places: Preserving Shelby County's Historic Cemeteries. With Jimmy Rout III
Shelby County historian Jimmy Rout III visits the show to discuss the preservation of Shelby County's smaller historic cemeteries, including African American resting places such as Hollywood (Memphis Slim and Furry Lewis are buried there)  and Mt. Carmel (containing the grave of Memphis hero Tom Lee) in South Memphis, as well as the many family-owned burial sites in the county.  Additional information  Email Shelby County historian Jimmy Rout III Gravestone Inscriptions from Shelby County Photos from Hollywood, Mt. Carmel, and other historic cemeteries at the Historic Memphis website. Sacred to the Memory - a portfolio of photos of forgotten African American burial places in Shelby County, from University of Memphis professor Coriana Close. 
September 4, 2021
Metamorphosis Project Addresses LGBTQ Youth Housing Insecurity. With Stephanie Bell and Cole Bradley
When LGBTQ+ youth become homeless or face housing challenges, the ripple effects on health, employment, and safety can be profound. This week, Stephanie Bell visits Memphis Metropolis to discuss how Out Memphis is addressing the issue on many fronts through its Metamorphosis Project, a new resource and housing support center. Later in the show, regular commentator Cole Bradley stops by to talk about other local progress on the homeless-serving front and the historic importance of special places - from bars to neighborhoods - in the gay community.  More information Out Memphis Donate to the Metamorphosis Project Bar Fight: The Rise and Fall of Memphis' Gay Bars
August 29, 2021
Mound Up: How a Community-College Partnership is Helping Orange Mound Residents Chart Their Future,
This week, Mr. Muhammad from Juice Orange Mound and Rhodes College student Mary Elizabeth Whitmire visit Memphis Metropolis to discuss the Mound Up Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. Through a resident-led planning process - supported by Rhodes students - the Orange Mound community is identifying its own priorities and projects as the neighborhood and surrounding areas are experiencing rapid change. Later in the show, commentator Austin Harrison shares his perspective as the Rhodes professor working to support the plan and build long-term partnerships between the college and the community.  Resources Mound Up Urban Revitalization Plan  Mound Up on Facebook  Juice Orange Mound
August 23, 2021
Summer Avenue stakeholders plan for a safer and more attractive street. With Bradyn Carson, Meghan Medford, and Austin Harrison.
This week, Bradyn Carson from the Memphis Office of Comprehensive Planning and Meghan Medford from Summer Avenue Merchants Association visit Memphis Metropolis to talk about a so-called Complete Streets study for Summer. Through the planning process, stakeholders including business owners, residents, and nonprofits will identify needs, priorities, and recommendations to make the streets safe for all users - including pedestrians, bike riders. and transit users - and more attractive as well.  Later in the program, regular commentator Austin Harrison returns to talk with host Emily Trenholm about the ongoing renaissance of Summer and how planners and neighbors are working to celebrate and preserve the city's true international district.  Resources and Information Memphis and Shelby County Office of Planning and Development website Summer Avenue virtual planning session - Thursday, September 9 @ noon - Zoom link here Summer Avenue virtual planning session - Thursday, September 9 @ 4:30 p.m. - Zoom link here Summer Avenue Merchants Association website Summer Avenue Merchants Association on Facebook
August 15, 2021
Groove On-Demand Shuttle Expands Transit Options. With Lauren Bermudez and Charlie Santo.
Memphis Metropolis returns after a break! This week, Lauren Bermudez of Downtown Memphis Commission visits to talk about the Groove On-Demand Shuttle, an on-call van service connecting downtown and the medical district with neighborhoods in North and South Memphis. Groove is being piloted by a partnership between DMC, the Memphis Medical District Collaborative, and Memphis Area Transit Authority, and has the potential to make transit more accessible and useful to both existing and new riders.  Later in the program, regular commentator Charlie Santo joins Emily to talk about the role of technology in the future of transit (could self-driving transit vehicles be in the future?) and whether or not services like the Groove On-Demand Shuttle could increase ridership from populations MATA hasn't traditionally served.  Information and Resources Learn more and sign up for the Groove On-Demand Shuttle
August 8, 2021
Endangered Structures: Mid-South Coliseum. With Angela Barksdale, Roy Barnes, and Cole Bradley.
For the second show in our Endangered Structures series, Memphis Metropolis sits down with Angela Barksdale and Roy Barnes of the Coliseum Coalition to discuss why the Coliseum is so important to Memphis and particularly, the Orange Mound neighborhood; how the Coalition is working to support its redevelopment; and how the building can enhance and support the Liberty Park development at the Fairgrounds. Later in the program, regular commentator Cole Bradley from High Ground News comes back to share childhood memories of the Coliseum and discuss the Beltline, a smaller but equally historic neighborhood that is also adjacent to the Fairgrounds. Resources and Information Coliseum Coalition website Coliseum Coalition on Facebook Liberty Park website
June 6, 2021
Explore Bike Share Gets Electrified. With Anton Mack and Charlie Santo.
Anton Mack from Explore Bike Share pays a visit to Memphis Metropolis to discuss the organization's new fleet of electric bikes, how their program and ridership shifted during the pandemic, and their long-range plans to integrate more seamlessly into local transit and overall transportation systems.  Later in the program, commentator Charlie Santo joins Emily to define and discuss micro-mobility - the use of shared transportation modes like bikes and scooters to make short trips - and its potential for Memphis. More information Explore Bike Share
May 28, 2021
A Community Land Trust Comes to Binghampton. With Magaly Cruz, Joni Laney, and Austin Harrison.
Community land trusts are a cooperative form of land ownership that keeps property affordable in perpetuity. Most commonly used to preserve housing affordability in a neighborhood where prices are appreciating (and threatening residents with displacement), CLTs can also be used for commercial, industrial, or agricultural purposes. This week, Magaly Cruz and Joni Laney visit Memphis Metropolis to talk about the city's first-ever CLT, in Binghampton, the development of their first housing unit, and the partners that helped them along the way. Later in the program, commentator Austin Harrison does a deeper dive into the history of CLTs and how real estate market dynamics may help determine what structure and purpose work in different neighborhoods.  Resources Binghampton Community Land Trust Grounded Solutions Network
May 23, 2021
Endangered Structures: Historic Baron Hirsch Synagogue
In this week's show, Josh First from the VECA neighborhood talks about the historic structure on Vollintine Avenue that was built in the 1950s by the Baron Hirsch synagogue along with an adjoining residential neighborhood - Vollintine Hills - that housed many of its members. The enormous structure, currently occupied by Gethsemane Gardens church, recently went on the market, and its future is uncertain. Josh and Emily also talk about the Volline Evergreen Community Association (VECA) which is celebrating 50 years of neighborhood activism, as well as the creation of neighbor-led amenities such as the VECA Greenline.  Later in the program, commentator Charlie Santo returns to discuss how VECA's strong understanding of and connection to its history has helped the organization stay engaged and relevant over the past decades.  More information: Then and Now: Baron Hirsch Synagogue
May 9, 2021
A Big Plan for Memphis Parks. With Nick Walker and Cole Bradley
This week, the city's Parks and Neighborhoods director Nick Walker visits Memphis Metropolis to talk about a new master plan for parks, the first that has been produced since 1999. 
May 2, 2021
The Skinny Lots of Memphis. With Josh Whitehead.
Many of Memphis's older neighborhoods - such as Cooper Young and South Memphis - were laid out with lots that are considerably narrower than what would be allowed today. Managing the redevelopment of those properties in a way that responds to real estate market pressures and is, at the same time, compatible with a neighborhood's look and feel, has presented challenges to both local government and community stakeholders. Josh Whitehead, zoning administrator of the city's Division of Planning and Development, joins Memphis Metropolis to discuss the history of some of the city's earliest subdivisions, and how both DPD and neighborhoods are working to ensure that infill development fits in and meets the desires of current and future residents of all older neighborhoods, from Midtown to Orange Mound. 
April 18, 2021
Fighting Blight in Memphis. With Leslie Smith and Austin Harrison.
This week, Memphis Metropolis gets deep into the weeds to understand the causes of blight and how community developers are using innovative tools to eradicate it, one property at a time. First, Leslie Smith, executive director of Blight Authority of Memphis, explains what a land bank authority can do and how BAM's creation brought some new tools to the table in the city's efforts to fight blight. Later in the show, regular commentator (and self-described 'blight nerd') Austin Harrison returns to discuss the economic impact of blight on neighborhoods and the city, and why acknowledging the racist causes of blight - including public policies that supported redlining and predatory lending - are key to developing equitable ways to eradicate it. Resources Blight Authority of Memphis Memphis Fights Blight
April 11, 2021
Historic Melrose School: Jewel of the Orange Mound Community. With Felicia Harris, Jimmie Tucker, and Charlie Santo.
This week,  Felicia Harris of the city's Division of Housing and Community Development and Jimmie Tucker of Self Tucker Architects visit Memphis Metropolis to talk about the upcoming revitalization of Historic Melrose School. Deeply informed by years of community advocacy for the building, the plan for Melrose calls for a new branch library, a genealogy room, affordable senior apartments, and other amenities.  Later in the show, commentator Charlie Santo, director of the University of Memphis Department of City and Regional Planning, joins Emily to talk about Mayor Strickland's recently announced Accelerate Memphis initiative, which will invest some $200 million in civic assets (such as Melrose), parks, and neighborhoods. Among many promising aspects to Accelerate Memphis is the resources it will allocate to supporting the city's recently adopted Memphis 3.0 comprehensive plan. 
April 4, 2021
The Challenge of Churches: What happens to the building when a congregation moves on? With Conner Walker, Dane Forlines, and Austin Harrison.
What happens when an urban congregation moves or closes, leaving a neighborhood with a large empty building? Conner Walker from Commercial Advisors and Dane Forlines with The Heights CDC visit Memphis Metropolis to talk about the redevelopment challenges presented by former church buildings, local success stories, and how congregations and neighborhoods can proactively encourage adaptive reuse, so important buildings are not lost to the wrecking ball. We also do a deep dive into the recent closure of Highland Heights United Methodist Church on Summer Avenue, and strategies the CDC is using to encourage the building's redevelopment and prevent its demolition. Later in the show, commentator Austin Harrison comes back to talk about the many different kinds of large buildings that can create blight in a neighborhood if empty - including schools, factories, and big-box stores - and how accumulated back taxes and liens can pose additional challenges to the feasibility of their redevelopment. 
March 28, 2021
Watch Where You Walk: Pedestrian Safety in Memphis. With Nick Oyler
Nick Oyler, bikeway and pedestrian program manager for the City of Memphis, makes a return visit to Memphis Metropolis to talk about pedestrian safety. This past week, Smart Growth America issued its Dangerous by Design 2021 study, which found that pedestrian deaths due to traffic accidents continue to increase nationally. Moreover, the study found that Memphis was the third most dangerous city for pedestrians, with pedestrian deaths up around 75 percent since 2019. In the show, Nick explains the connection between street design and pedestrian safety, why COVID and driver distraction have contributed to the rise in fatalities, and how dedicated funding for pedestrian infrastructure could help change the trajectory. And, why his team created a special map to help memorialize the lives of Memphis pedestrians that have been lost.  Links Dangerous by Design 2021 Bike-Ped Memphis Memorial Map
March 14, 2021
The Edge is Booming! With Ben Schulman and Ray Brown.
The Edge district is known for its eclectic style, great old buildings, public art, and an unconventional street grid.  The neighborhood is home to restaurants, recording studios, artist and makers spaces, art galleries, a craft brewery, and more recently, corporate offices and residential units. This week, Ben Schulman, director of real estate for Memphis Medical District Collaborative, stops by to discuss how a combination of neighborhood history, pre-vitalization activities, support for emerging developers, and other strategies has contributed to a development boom that is transforming the area. Later in the show, urban designer and regular commentator Ray Brown reflects on The Edge's walkability and how its musical and automotive histories give the area a clear identity and are a magnet for visitors.  Memphis Medical District Collaborative
March 7, 2021
Neighborhood Spotlight: Douglass. With Kathy Yancey Temple and Cole Bradley
Kathy Temple Yancey visits Memphis Metropolis to talk about Douglass, one of the city's most historic African American neighborhoods. Douglass is home to many important community institutions, including Douglass Park (longtime home of the annual Juneteenth festival) and Douglass HIgh, which was closed and demolished in the wake of school desegregation but has since been rebuilt as a state-of-the-art facility. Kathy also explains the work of Time is Now Douglass CDC, which is working to revitalize the neighborhood through community organizing and addressing issues such as blight and food insecurity. Later in the program, regular commentator Cole Bradley, editor of High Ground News, talks with Emily about the many qualities that have made Douglass unique among Memphis neighborhoods.
February 28, 2021
Introducing AIA Memphis' new director and learning more about historic cemeteries. With Amber Lombardo and Holly Jansen Fulkerson.
Amber Lombardo, recently appointed executive director of the Memphis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, visits Memphis Metropolis to discuss AIA's mission, programs, and priorities, including the creation of a statewide tax credit for historic preservation. Later in the show, regular commentator Holly Jansen Fulkerson from Memphis Heritage elaborates on the need for additional preservation incentives and previews MHI's upcoming Preservation Series,  focusing on historic cemeteries.  Additional Information AIA Memphis Memphis Heritage (check back for information about registering for the preservation series) Sacred to the Memory - a portfolio of photos of abandoned and forgotten burial places in Shelby County. From University of Memphis professor Coriana Close.
February 21, 2021
The State of Memphis Housing. With Mairi Albertson, Austin Harrison, and Charlie Santo.
Last fall, The City of Memphis and Innovate Memphis published The State of Memphis Housing: Rising to Respond to Crisis to call attention to affordable housing challenges facing our community and foster collaborations to craft and implement solutions. In this episode, Mairi Albertson from the Division of Housing and Community Development and Austin Harrison with Innovate Memphis visit Memphis Metropolis to reflect on the impact of COVID on housing stability, how supply is falling in different segments of the affordable housing market, and how local government and nonprofits are and could be responding.  In the second half of the program, commentator Charlie Santo returns to talk about the history of government-sponsored affordable housing - both public housing and housing vouchers - and how recent federal government programs focusing on neighborhood revitalization have reduced the overall supply of public housing units. Charlie and Emily also tee up some future Memphis Metropolis topics, such as community land trusts, the current multifamily construction boom in Midtown and downtown, and various kinds of rent-to-own programs that often promise much more than they deliver to participants.  Resource State of Memphis Housing Report
February 14, 2021
My City Rides: Rethinking How People Get to Work. With Andy Nix, Megan Klein, and Cole Bradley.
This week, Andy Nix and Megan Klein from My City Rides discuss how the nonprofit is using affordable scooter ownership to help Memphians secure reliable transportation to work. Also: MCR's efforts to connect its "flyers" to food delivery opportunities during the pandemic and its upcoming move to a new campus on Summer Avenue. Later in the program, regular commentator Cole Bradley, editor of High Ground News, pays a visit to talk with Emily about expanding local transportation options and two new High Ground series.  For more information My City Rides High Ground News
February 7, 2021
South Memphis Collaborators Plan a Renaissance. With Reginald Milton, Andy Kitsinger, and Charlie Santo.
This week, Memphis Metropolis takes a deep dive into Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and in particular, a proposal to use the tool for the revitalization of South Memphis. Our guests are Reginald Milton, Shelby County Commissioner and executive director of South Memphis Alliance, and Andy Kitsinger, principal of Development Studio. The proposed TIF district is being spearheaded by the Soulsville USA Neighborhoods Development District, a broad community coalition made up of nonprofit organizations, neighborhood associations, faith leaders, and institutions.  Later in the program, Charlie Santo pays a return visit to Memphis Metropolis to talk more about how TIFs work here and in other cities,  whether there can be too many TIFs, and what other tools can accomplish some of the same objectives. We also debate whether or not it is ever appropriate to utilize the tool in an affluent area, such as the recent (and controversial) TIF district established in East Memphis.  Resources Soulsville USA Neighborhood Development District
January 24, 2021
Neighborhood Spotlight: Alcy Ball. With Seth Harkins and Cole Bradley.
In our first field interview, Memphis Metropolis visits Seth Harkins of the Alcy Ball Development Corporation to learn about Alcy Ball, a South Memphis neighborhood northwest of the airport with a long history of African American homeownership and a strong sense of community. ABDC's most recent project is the Rogers Store, a long-time corner store that has been transformed into a community gathering place.  Later in the show, Cole Bradley from High Ground News returns to brainstorm with Emily about future Neighborhood Spotlight locations and talk about High Ground's "Still Serving" series of videos highlighting Memphis restaurants operating in the pandemic.  Links Alcy Ball Development Corp. web site Alcy Ball Development Corp. on Facebook Still Serving video: Paletas in the pandemic with La Michoacana Still Serving video: Take a pandemic-safe trip to Venezuela with Sabor Caribe
January 17, 2021
The urban grocery store conundrum. With Shawn Massey and Charlie Santo.
Retail expert Shawn Massey, principal of TSCG, visits Memphis Metropolis to discuss why it is so difficult to attract grocery stores to a low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. From Binghampton to South City,  community partners have come together in various efforts to bring food retailers to underserved areas.  For projects to be successful, funding incentives are often needed, and neighborhood commitment and involvement (on the part of both residents and operators) are critically important.  In the second half of the program, commentator Charlie Santo and Emily discuss the importance of better transit in addressing food insecurity, the need to support and incentivize grocers without letting them off the hook,  and how nonprofit models like The Works' Grocer at South Memphis Farmers Market and Knowledgequest's Greenleaf Learning Farm are making a difference in meeting neighborhood nutrition needs.
January 10, 2021
Memphis 3.0 - One Year In. With John Zeanah.
John Zeanah, director of the Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development, visits Memphis Metropolis to reflect on the year since the city's first comprehensive plan in decades was adopted, and to solicit citizen input on some proposed 3.0 updates. Emily and John also discuss the launch of the Develop901 web site, which offers developers and other stakeholders easier access to information and resources.  Develop901 Memphis 3.0 Comprehensive Plan (general site) Proposed updates to the 3.0 Plan Form for submitting comments about the updates
January 2, 2021
Overton Park plans for the future with a eye to the past and present. With Tina Sullivan and Holly Jansen Fulkerson.
Overton Park Conservancy executive director Tina Sullivan discusses OPC's master planning process, which is currently focused on the east side of the park.  Key issues the plan is addressing include creating a vision for the park's expansion into the 13-acre tract at the park’s southeast corner currently known as the General Services, as well as taking a fresh look at the Bike Gate plaza and the East Parkway playground, pavilion, and picnic areas -- better connecting these assets with each other and with the western part of the park.  In the second half of the program, Holly Jansen Fulkerson from Memphis Heritage returns to Memphis Metropolis to discuss the era of segregated public parks, the development of historic Church and Douglass Parks to serve African Americans, and the renaming of Memphis parks over the years.  Resources Overton Park Conservancy Overton Park Planning Effort – Zone 1 Memphis Heritage Overton Park: A People's History - By Brooks Lamb
December 27, 2020
Keep Your Land campaign engages Orange Mound residents. With Britney Thornton and Cole Bradley
Britney Thornton from Juice Orange Mound joins Memphis Metropolis to discuss the organization's origins and its recent growth, including the build out of its Street Assembly and the creation of a new program focused on entrepreneurs that are single mothers. With redevelopment occurring or planned Orange Mound's borders, The Keep Your Land billboard campaign encourages residents to maintain ownership of their property, in order to  build their assets and help maintain neighborhood control of land.  Later, High Ground News editor Cole Bradley visits the show to talk more about Orange Mound and reflect on how COVID has impacted Memphis neighborhoods in 2020.  Resources Juice Orange Mound web site Juice Orange Mound on Facebook
December 19, 2020
Neighborhood Spotlight: The Heights. With Jared Myers and Ray Brown
In the first of a series of Neighborhood Spotlights, Jared Myers from the The Heights CDC visits Memphis Metropolis to talk all about The Heights neighborhood - the places and the people. From Randolph Library to neighborhood schools to international food restaurants and market, The Heights  is rich in assets and has a strong sense of community. Jared and Emily discuss two current CDC-led initiatives, including The Heights Line - an active transportation route along National Street and a proposed small area plan for a portion of Summer Avenue. Later in the show, Ray and Emily reflect on challenges of managing neighborhood change in a way that benefits current residents, revisit the topic of how design standards for neighborhoods could help increase community support for more infill and density, and mourn the recent loss of architect Marty Gorman. Resources and Information  Heights Line Heights CDC
December 13, 2020
An innovative local program is helping prevent evictions. With Webb Brewer, Constance Brown, and Charlie Santo.
Webb Brewer and Constance Brown from Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. discuss an innovative Memphis and Shelby  County program that helps both tenants and landlords avoid evictions caused by COVID. Later in the show, commentator Charlie Santo from University of Memphis returns to discuss some of the historical causes and impacts of evictions in Memphis. Emily and Charlie also reflect on the legacy of Tommy Pacello, a transformative community development leader who died in November.  Resources Information about applying for the eviction program Form to declare COVID-19 related financial distress
December 6, 2020
Crosstown and VECA neighborhoods pursue Landmarks District status. With Jennifer Amido, Suzy Askew, and Holly Jansen Fulkerson.
Jennifer Amido from Crosstown and Suzy Askew from Vollintine Evergreen (VECA) talk about their respective neighborhood's special characteristics and their efforts to be designated as local landmark districts.  Later in the program, Holly Jansen Fulkerson from Memphis Heritage explains the differences between local and national historic district designations and the protections they do (or don't) provide,  Resources: VECA's application to be a Historic Conservation District Map of landmark districts in Memphis Application to create a new historic district in Memphis Memphis Heritage
November 28, 2020
How can Memphis increase black homeownership? With Antoine Thompson, Amy Scaftlein, and Cole Bradley.
Antoine Thompson, national executive director of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), and Amy Shaftlein, executive director of United Housing,  visit Memphis Metropolis to talk about the impacts of discrimination and public policy on black homeownership, and how strategies like down payment assistance and updated credit criteria can help.  Later in the program, commentator Cole Bradley and Emily talk about the impact of this disparity on Memphis neighborhoods,  the high percentage of homes owned by outside investors, and how neighborhoods like Orange Mound and Klondike Smokey City are working to take back control of their land and increase homeownership.  Resources National Association of Real Estate Brokers The State of Housing in Black America The State of Memphis Housing 2020: Rising to Respond to Crisis United Housing - homebuyer education, down payment assistance, affordable loans
November 21, 2020
Making Neighborhoods More Lovable. With Abby Miller and Charlie Santo.
In her decade in Memphis working with Innovate Memphis,  and (currently), the Memphis Medical District Collaborative (MMDC), Abby Miller -with her colleagues and collaborators - has helped pioneer a number of innovations designed to spur neighborhood economic vitality and reduce the barriers for emerging creative businesses. Abby visits Memphis Metropolis to reflect on how small-scale strategies such as pop-up shops, facade beautification,  and pedestrian improvements can help unlock the "lovabilty" and economic potential of a street or neighborhood.  Later in the program,  Emily and commentator Charlie Santo talk about the efforts of the MMDC and whether similar so-called "anchor strategies" (based around one or more institutions) could be deployed in the University District, as well. 
November 14, 2020
Building a City We Can All Afford. With Anna Holtzclaw, Alex Willis, and commentator Ray Brown.
Anna Holtzclaw from Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Alex Willis from Comcap Partners join Memphis Metropolis to discuss ULI's recent 21-day Equitable Development Challenge,  an opportunity for member and non-members to spend time both personally reflecting and in group discussions to identify real actions they can take individually, at their organizations, and as a community to address the inequities in the real estate industry.  Later in the program,  commentator (and explainer extraordinaire) Ray Brown discuss the Unified Development Code (UDC) for Memphis and Shelby  County and some proposed amendments that if adopted, could potentially reduce citizen input in planning decisions and lead to an increase in so-called "tall skinnies" in the Midtown area.  If you need a primer on the UDC as well as the difference between the Land Use Control Board and the Board of Adjustment, this is a discussion you won't want to miss.  Useful links: Event: ULI Memphis Building a City We Can All Afford - Session Four: Solutions for Memphis Information about proposed changes to the Unified Development Code
November 6, 2020
Memphis neighborhoods are calling the shots in public art decisions. With A.M. O'Malley and commentator Cole Bradley.
A.M. O'Malley from Urban Art Commission visits Memphis Metropolis to discuss the organization's Neighborhood Art Initiative and a new project celebrating postal workers.  Later in the show,  commentator Cole  Bradley and Emily talk about increasing resident influence on how neighborhood places are shaped,  including parks, public art, and more. 
October 31, 2020
Biking in Memphis: The State of the System. With John Paul Shaffer, Nick Oyler, and Charlie Santo
John Paul Shaffer from PeopleForBikes and Nick Oyler from the City of Memphis join us to talk about how Memphis has gone from 2 to 300 miles of off- and on-road bicycle facilities over a decade; which projects have been truly transformative, such as Shelby Farms Greenway and the Harahan Bridge Crossing; and how an intentional focus on equity and neighborhood-based programming has helped more Memphians get on bikes for recreation and transportation.  Later in the program, regular commentator Charlie Santo reflects on moving from transportation mecca Portland, OR to Memphis and trying to navigate the local system.  Charlie and Emily also talk about how bike infrastructure and related improvements like traffic calming can potentially help increase access to public spaces such as Tom Lee Park and Riverside Park.  Additional resources
October 23, 2020
Memphis Heritage looks ahead and recent doings on Broad and Summer Avenues. With Holly Jansen Fulkerson and Ray Brown.
Holly Jansen Fulkerson from Memphis Heritage visits Memphis Metropolis to explain what historic preservation is all about, discuss some recent advocacy efforts, and introduce a new program focused on the recognition and documentation of historic African American places.  Later in the program, urban designer Ray Brown joins Emily to talk about why a gas station and convenience store on Sam Cooper and Hollywood was a bad idea and the development challenges and opportunities on Summer Avenue. 
October 15, 2020
Special guest Steve Lockwood and commentator Charlie Santo
Memphis Metropolis is about the built environment – the building blocks that define the look and feel of our city and region. From the downtown skyscrapers to the historic neighborhoods to the suburbs, we’ll talk to community leaders and residents, examining architecture, transportation, public art, parks, development and redevelopment plans, and much more, from a variety of perspectives. Your host is Emily Trenholm. In our inaugural show,  Steve Lockwood of Frayser CDC reflects on his career in Memphis community development, including stints as staff or board member at VECA CDC and Cooper Young Development Corp.  Then, Charlie Santo, chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Memphis, talks with us about the growth of the local CDC industry, the challenges of redeveloping suburban-style neighborhoods, and why everyone needs to fill out their Census forms. 
October 9, 2020