MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland signed an executive order putting the Memphis 3.0 plan in motion.
That plan is designed to guide the city's development over the next 20 years, but it sparked some controversy as some say historically black neighborhoods are left out. Earlier this month, the New Chicago Community Partnership filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to stop the plan. That lawsuit is not stopping the mayor from moving forward.
Supporters say it will help improve transportation and investments in neighborhoods outside of downtown.
"The economic renaissance we see in Memphis isn't being felt in every neighborhood. This plan is a road map for growth and investments in all neighborhoods throughout the city," Strickland said.
But Memphis 3.0 has been met with some resistance. Some say historically black neighborhoods are left out.
Earlier in May, the New Chicago Community Partnership filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to stop the plan.
Community activist Carnita Atwater and others protested outside of the office of Works Incorporated. Atwater says they fear the plan will lead to gentrification.
"If the mayor would just, why is he trying to push this Memphis. 3.0? He's not representing the people, especially the poor people. He's representing the investors and developers, and we're going to make that known in a lawsuit," she said.
Roshun Austin, President and CEO of Works Incorporated, says the plan is different from those that have been disrupted in black communities.
"The comprehensive plan helps to guide our future in Memphis and make real investments into distressed neighborhoods."
This plan has been in the works since the Mayor Strickland took office in 2016. For now, City Council still has to sign off on approving zoning changes related to Memphis 3.0.
To view the full plan, click here.