(Blatant plug: This week, I wrote about the University of Memphis Livable Mid-South conference on transportation for our print issue. You should pick it up while you're out and about, OR you can click here.)
The Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has moved into the next phase of its Imagine 2035 process. Now that the first round of public meetings is complete, the MPO is going to draft three different drafts of its land-use and transportation plan.
The first will show how things will develop if the area takes a "business as usual" approach, basically how development will continue for the next 25 years if we stay on our present course.
The second draft will show alternative scenarios, and the third will be the ideal scenario.
From what I recall, Nashville did this several years ago with Cumberland Region Tomorrow's Report to the Region and found it very helpful, especially comparing the "business as usual" approach to the ideal one.
The Report to the Region was published in 2003 and laid out the results of the 2001-2002 Regional Visioning Project showing how the 10-county region was growing and what could potentially happen if we continue to grow with business as usual planning and development practices.
Apparently, seeing where they were headed was enough to convince citizens that changes needed to be made.
Locally, the MPO should come back with its scenarios — and the next round of public meetings — in August. In the meantime, you can find them on Facebook or you can contact the MPO for a "meeting in a box."