A nationwide backlash against the use of eminent domain followed the U. S. Supreme Court's Kelo decision. Since then a majority of state legislatures have acted to limit its use, but what's happened in New London, CT where eminent domain was seen as an economic panacea and Suzette Kelo and her neighbors fought to protect their homes?
What does this have to do with the Memphis riverfront?
When cities around the country were buying land to create beautiful waterfront parks to help revitalize their downtowns, Memphis was considering eminent domain as a tool to break the conservation easement that protects our blufftop. This plan for private commercial development of the Public Promenade was adopted by the City Council in 2004 and is still the plan of record. It's time to officially remove the plan and to envision a riverfront connected by parks and greenways to public institutions, cultural and recreational resources, and the residences, shops, and restaurants downtown.