“The Heights has about ten percent of Memphis’ vacant and blighted structures. Addressing this was identified as a priority, but what was realized was that addressing one housing project at a time probably was not going to effect the kind of community development that the neighborhood wanted to see.
“‘We rise by lifting others‘ is our motto… So we took our cues from cities that had been successful in revitalizing challenging areas like this one. And what their finding was that investment in walkable places and neighborhood centers, with a wide variety of uses – that these places are achieving the types of return that cities really need to see, that create a better quality of life for people living there. There’s high economic return on investment because of social return, dollars following where people want to be, in places created for people. When we talk about ‘return’ we’re also talking about people returning and businesses returning to these places.”
That’s Dane Forlines, director of special projects for The Heights CDC, talking to host Mark Fleischer about the real social and economic impact of reinvesting in walkable urban neighborhoods to bring struggling Memphis neighborhoods like The Heights back to life. Listen in this episode of StoryBoard 30, from FM 89.3 WYPL, as the two discuss the efforts of The Heights and other neighborhoods like it that are focused on bringing a quality of life back to long disinvested communities.