Memphis, Tennessee

 Project: Charrette Masterplan with a Unified Development Code to regulate land development in the City of Memphis and portions of Shelby County
City of Memphis Tennessee
Contact: Louise Mercuro
Charrette/Master Plan Winter 2006; full Unified Development Code currently under final review

The Broad Avenue urban design and redevelopment project was initiated as part of the effort to create a new Unified Development Code for Memphis-Shelby County (led by Code Studio, Inc.) Ferrell Madden Associates directed the Broad Avenue public participation design charrette and was the principal urban design firm for the project. This public visioning and master planning process laid the foundation for many of the new infill development standards that are being drafted for the larger City-County effort.

The goal of the master planning effort was multifaceted. First and foremost was a charge to explore ways to harness the character and scale of infill development on the vacant parcels and knit the neighborhoods on either side of the vacated right-of-way back together, while incorporating the new thoroughfare and transforming it into a true boulevard. Additionally, the design included the creation of new urban spaces, complementing the existing Overton Park, and providing smaller public spaces placed throughout the district. There was also a need to provide examples of, and locations for, a variety of residential options, transitioning from the existing historic single family neighborhoods to more urban forms such as row houses and new larger scale mixed-use development.

Based on economic market analyses for a variety of redevelopment scenarios, the master plan proposes transforming auto-dominated corridors to a more balanced pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly thoroughfares along with providing options for reuse of vacant warehouse space while continuing to accommodate existing light industrial uses.

The Broad Avenue corridor and surrounding neighborhood were chosen as a proto-typical area for the unified development code project. The district has features in common with many other close-in areas of Memphis: a combination of underutilized industrial land along the rail line and the old highway; historic residential neighborhoods; aging automobile-oriented commercial corridors; and a racially and socio-economically diverse population.

 Rendering by Urban Advantage