Planning a Smarter Future for the Mid-South - You're Invited to Learn More & Join the Conversation

The GreenPrint Plan is about Memphis and our region becoming smarter -- gathering data; mapping; discussing and analyzing challenges; and planning for a sustainable future.
Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about it, ask questions, share your ideas -
The program is free and open to the public. You're invited by Friends for Our Riverfront and Sierra Club - Chickasaw Group. We hope you can come!

For more info. on the Mid-South Regional GreenPrint, click HERE.
Just recently, 19 local sub-projects have received grants to advance the vision of a sustainable region. Click HERE to see a list.

How about this goal for OUR riverfront?!

To knit the unique assets and experiences of the Memphis riverfront into a seamless and welcoming public landscape, planning for environmental conservation, sustainable infrastructure and long-term stewardship.

That's the goal of the Plan that won the 2013 Top Honor Award from the Waterfront Center in Washington, DC  It's the Plan for Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA

Or what about this plan, another Award Winner?

First make the river more natural, including restoration of streams and improvement of storm water quality. Second, make the riverside more urban, including a balance of river recreation opportunities and maintenance of the working waterfront. Third, make the river more connected to citywide networks via trails, parkways and river boulevards.

That's the goal for the Great River Passage, 17 miles of the Mississippi River running through St. Paul, Minnesota.

In addition to the two plans above, nine projects in 6 categories were selected for awards this year:

Category: Environmental/Public Works - 
Bala de Luanda Waterfront Requalification - Luanda, Angola

Category: Park/Walkway/Recreation - 
Brooklyn Bridge Park - Brooklyn, NY
Curtis Hixon Park - Tampa, FL
Gloucester Harbor Walk, Gloucester, MA
Smother's Park - Owensboro, KY

Category: Artistic/Cultural/Educational -
Ghost Fish 107, Port of Los Angeles - San Pedro, CA

Category: Mixed Use -
Urban Renaissance and Execution of Wuxi Grand Canal Qingming Bridge Conservation Area, Wuxi , Jiangsu Province, China

Category: Elements 
Cobble Garden, Surfer's Point, Managed Shoreline Retreat, Ventura, CA

Category: Clearwater Award -
Esplanade 2020, a Vision for the Future, the Ad-Hoc Esplanade Work Group, Boston, Mass.

Click HERE to see the Award Winners and to learn more about the Waterfront Center.

Smarter Cities - Signs with a new Purpose

There's been a breakdown in enforcing design and sign guidelines in Memphis, from Highland, through  Midtown, down to the riverfront. Classified as the most restrictive zone downtown and the area the public felt should be most natural, the riverfront may be seeing the worst of it.

As Tom Jones of Smart City writes for Oct.'s Memphis Magazine:  "To the south the original architectural design of Beale Street Landing, with its gentle, sloping roof, has been devastated." We have only seen the drawings of Bass Pro's signs that are headed for the Pyramid and Pinch areas, but they seem so large and inappropriate that the only alternative to tears is to laugh along with  Davis Chritopher in his parody of downtown projects for the Flyer.

But signs don't have to destroy places. In an ad campaign for IBM's Smart Ideas for Smarter Cities, Ogilvy created functional outdoor advertising - a bench, a shelter, a stair ramp - with color and curve.


FfOR & Chickasaw Bluff Conservancy Celebrate Merger

The setting on the Bluff at the National Ornamental Metal Museum & the weather were perfect for a picnic on Oct. 13th, when the Board of Friends for Our Riverfront honored the Chickasaw Bluff Conservancy and celebrated the merger of the two non-profit organizations. Both are committed to protecting public access and enjoyment along the River and to preserving the riverfront's rich historic, natural, and aesthetic character.

Chickasaw Bluff Conservancy

To learn more about Memphis's Bluffwalk and the Chickasaw Bluff Conservancy, click HERE.

Anne Whalen Shafer (1923 - 2013)

Anne Whalen Shafer has played a major, substantive role in the life of our city, and Friends for Our Riverfront is particularly appreciative of her advocacy and commitment to ensuring public access to our waterfront and the creation of the Bluffwalk.

A lifelong community activist, Mrs. Shafer served as Chairman of the Memphis City Beautiful Commission 1964 - 1966 and in her own gentle way "rearranged the furniture" and received recognition for integrating City Hall.

Mrs. Shafer was a delegate to the Tennessee Constitutional Convention in 1965, and in 1966 was honored by Lady Bird Johnson as one of 9 Democratic “Women Doer’s” in the United States for her efforts in city beautification. She served on the Panel of American Women, President of the Memphis Chapter of the League of Women Voters, Church Women United and was head of the Memphis Chapter of the United Nations Association.

Obituary in Commercial Appeal, HERE,
2008 Video Interview, HERE
"Memphis Instruments of Peace: How Volunteers and Visionaries Challenged Racism, Reactionary Politicians and the Catholic Hierarchy" by Anne Shafer, HERE
Editorial: Memphis Women carried on MLK's work, HERE.