Report

Design Snapshot — Memphis Blueprint for a City of Choice: Advancing Joint City-County Recovery

Mark Muro and Sarah Rahman

Memphis leaders have taken advantage of ARRA to advance an unprecedented partnership between the city of Memphis and Shelby County, TN, to realize a shared recovery vision. “Memphis: A City of Choice” is a new blueprint, augmenting and advancing earlier private-sector plans, for transforming the core city into a prosperous, inclusive, sustainable area by channeling city and county stimulus spending, as well as other resources, to focus on “game-changers” in 12 economic development priority areas.

Inter-jurisdictional leadership and vision, combined with private and philanthropic sector engagement, are central elements of the Memphis “City of Choice” initiative. Often working at cross-purposes historically, a crosssection of city and county leaders embraced the ARRA opportunity to create new momentum around coordinating economic recovery policy and program agendas with the aim of catapulting Memphis ahead of its peer cities. The effort involves public sector direction from the mayors of Memphis and Shelby County, Memphis City Council, Shelby County Board of Commissioners, Memphis Housing and Community Development Department, and the city superintendent of schools. Private sector leadership comes from the Greater Memphis Chamber, the Memphis Tomorrow association of business executives, and the heads of FedEx Global Supply Chain Services, Methodist Healthcare, and AutoZone.

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