Memphis 3.0 draft plan released, still looking for public input

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Build up, not out.

That's what the more than 400-page draft of the Memphis 3.0 plan calls for land use and growth over the next few decades.

It's a lofty plan, created over two years with the input of more than 15,000 Memphians engaging in a long-term vision of how they see their city growing.

"The idea is that over the last particularly 50 years, we've grown our land area so large but have not grown our population by much at all," John Zeanah, Director of Planning and Development said.

The city is broken down into 14 different so-called districts, all with different anchors within them.

Zeanah said an anchor can be citywide, like downtown, a place where we're seeing lots of activity.

He also gave examples in different communities like the Crosstown Concourse or in Raleigh, there's the Raleigh Town Center, currently under construction and in Whitehaven, there's the Whitehaven Plaza. It's a private place, but there is activity and room for growth.

"Where we're improving the lighting, improving some of the streetscapes, showing that there is a path forward for seeing new momentum in areas that maybe haven't seen it in some time," Zeanah said.

He said Memphians want to see growth expanded up around places like these.

"We also heard that we need better connectivity, so we did a transit vision alongside with the comprehensive plan," he said.

In the North Memphis area, we talked to Janice Mondie.

"I'm interested to see what they have planned for this area. I understand that this area is probably in the district of Jackson," she said.

She's been following the Memphis 3.0 process and plans to take a closer look at it. She doesn't want to see her neighborhood industrialized.

"How do you expect the neighborhood to grow on it's own without investments? We have spent hundreds of millions downtown and continue to spend downtown," she said.

Zeanah said a plan this large will take time to fully implement.

"The plan is a living document. It's something we have to continue to work on. It's something we have to engage the community on."

So now once again, the city wants to hear from you. The plan is open for public comment until Feb. 8. Starting next month, you can visit your library branch or community center to review it.

The overarching cost to implement the study was $2.5 million, and most of that was paid by grant money.

To see the plan for yourself click here.

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