Plan

In 2008, the Sustainable Shelby Implementation Plan was developed by 130 people participating in seven committees and a team of professional urban planners from the Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development (DPD). The seven committees included: building codes; environment and natural resources; land use and development; neighborhood rebirth; public buildings and purchasing policy; public incentives; and transportation and traffic. For four months, committees sifted through hundreds of ideas from sustainability best practices research. The final implementation plan resulted in a total of 151 strategies and was intended to be used as a living document to guide the region’s sustainable practices.

In 2014, the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability published a progress report to reflect on the status of the Sustainable Shelby Plan.  View the report here: Sustainable Shelby Implementation Plan Progress Report (8 MB) or download just the appendix which is a status table of all the strategies here

The 2015 Year in Review Report is available here.  

Download the Full Plan from 2008: Sustainable Shelby Implementation Plan  (48MB) or download each chapter below
 
Chapter 1 - Introduction    
 
 
Healthy, attractive, safe, diverse neighborhoods are the building blocks of a sustainable community.
 
 
Today, green projects and programs are flourishing in all corners of Memphis and Shelby County.
 
 
When asked what cities have to do to keep highly coveted workers and attract others, these workers said the city has to be green, clean, and safe.
 
 
Broad community awareness is needed so that people can take advantage of the savings and the quality of life that result from sustainable behavior.
 
Chapter 6 - Leading by Example
 
It is not enough for government just to share a sustainable vision of our community, but must lead by example.
 
Chapter 7 - Call to Action   
 
Great Neighborhoods for a Great Community
Status Strategy Summary Comments Sub Category
2.1.1

Declare Memphis and Shelby County as a "Community of Great Neighborhoods" through a joint executive order.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Great Neighborhoods
2.1.2

Establish a “Great Neighborhood Score” to set the standard of high-performing, successful neighborhoods and by which to evaluate all proposals and applications to the Division of Planning and Development.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Great Neighborhoods
2.1.3

Revise the current fiscal impact model (anticipated tax revenue vs. cost of additional services) for development to ensure that it more closely reflects the actual costs of new development.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Great Neighborhoods
2.1.4

Reorganize the DPD around Neighborhood Planners who are experts of specific geographic regions.

The Department of Planning was cut in half during the economic recession in 2009, so this strategy has not been addressed to date.

Great Neighborhoods
2.1.5

Neighborhood Planners in the DPD will work with the neighbors to create a character guidebook.

The Department of Planning was cut in half during the economic recession in 2009, so this strategy has not been addressed to date.

Great Neighborhoods
Completed 2.1.6

Apply to the League of American Bicyclists to become a “Bicycle Friendly Community.”

Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization applied for this designation and received an honorable mention in 2011.  In addition, Memphis City Hall received a bronze in the category for a bicycle friendly business.  Read about it here
 
Great Neighborhoods
Completed 2.1.7

Support community gardening programs and create an Urban Garden and Organic Farming Initiative, offering training in urban farming and help transform vacant urban parcels into community gardens.

GrowMemphis’ primary work is aimed at training new community gardeners to transform vacant parcels into sustainable community gardens.  Currently they work with about 30 community gardens.  Recently they collaborated to design an Urban Agriculture Entrepreneur Program to help create business plans for those more interested in larger scale, for-profit urban farming.  
 
Roots Memphis Farm Academy is a farmer incubator program that will create new farmers by combining sustainable agricultural education and business plan development with an incubation process that connects graduates to land, financing, and markets. Graduates of the Farm Academy will utilize currently vacant land to produce food in the urban core, providing themselves and their families with much-needed income.
 
Great Neighborhoods
Completed 2.1.8

Establish three demonstration neighborhoods where targeted policies, incentives, and public and private partnerships will be applied to develop a model sustainable neighborhood.

Three demonstration neighborhoods were designated by Community LIFT as Binghampton, Frayser, and Upper South Memphis. LIFT works in these neighborhoods to target investments in community building projects.

Great Neighborhoods
2.1.9

Assist developers to reach their pledge for the Fairgrounds to be a “green” project and for the redevelopment to demonstrate sustainable urbanism principles in action.

Plans for redevelopment of the Fairgrounds are being studied at this time.  
 
Great Neighborhoods
Completed 2.1.10

Create a “Neighborhood Clean-up Drive” program where a neighborhood has access to resources and equipment to remove debris, trash, and abandoned cars. 

*Memphis City Beautiful assists neighborhoods in their clean-up efforts, contact them through their website.    Read recent news about their efforts along with the 25-square blight pilot project here.  

Great Neighborhoods
Completed 2.1.11

Create shared design guidelines and establish a design review processes for the redevelopment of tax sale properties in order to preserve neighborhood integrity and strengthen community character. 

Design guidelines for surplus properties have not been developed; however, the redevelopment of these parcels must adhere with the principles set forth in the Unified Development Code.
 
Great Neighborhoods
2.2.1

Develop a Comprehensive Plan for the City of Memphis, unincorporated Shelby County, and other municipalities based upon the principles of Sustainable Urbanism.

 

The Department of Planning was cut in half during the economic recession in 2009, so this strategy has not been addressed to date.  The Mid-South Regional Greenprint is a regional comprehensive plan focused on green infrastructure that is being coordinated by the Office of Sustainability.  This project is a first step towards the completion of a comprehensive plan.   

Smart Planning
In Progress 2.2.2

The Environmental Resource Protection component to the Comprehensive Plan will inventory and provide guidelines for the protection of priority wetlands, aquifer recharge areas, wildlife corridors, and critical habitats for threatened and endangered species.

The Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability's Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan furthers this goal.

Smart Planning
Completed 2.2.3

The Comprehensive Plan will map the location of existing and future neighborhoods, employment centers and business districts with transit-ready density levels in conjunction with the adopted Long-Range Transportation Plan and Regional Transit Master Plan. Amend the UDC to include tools to ensure that plans are reviewed for conformance with the requirements for transit-ready neighborhood developments.

The Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability's Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan furthers this goal. In addition, this data has been developed by Nelson\Nygaard for the MATA short-range transit plan and Greenprint Bus Transit to Workplace Study.  

Smart Planning
In Progress 2.2.4

The Parks and Open Space and the Transportation sections of the Comprehensive Plan should connect parks and open spaces with a cohesive bicycle and pedestrian network while preserving wildlife corridors and ecosystems.

The Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability's Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan furthers this goal.

Smart Planning
2.2.5

Within the Comprehensive Plan, neighborhood plans will be created with specific attention given to protecting and enhancing the character of established neighborhoods including the desired density.

The Office of Sustainability plans to work on methods for establishing more neighborhood scale plans, within the constraints of the existing budget climate.

Smart Planning
2.2.6

Prepare a major road plan in conjunction with the Comprehensive Plan to include existing and future collector streets, major road alignments, and right-of-way requirements.

When a Comprehensive Plan is eventually commenced, this will be a part of the process.

Smart Planning
2.2.7

Suspend the acceptance of applications for new residential developments smaller than four-acre lots within unincorporated Shelby County while the Comprehensive Plan is being prepared and future policies should discourage leap frog development and encourage infill.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Smart Planning
In Progress 2.2.8

The LUCB should consist of chairmen of city and county legislative bodies’ planning and zoning committees as ex-officio members; two architects, two developers, two civil engineers, two representatives from either a neighborhood or community advocacy group (or a combination thereof), and two professional planners with two of the board members LEED Accredited Professionals.

The Land Use Control Board is made up of a diverse range of industry professionals.  A list can be found here

Smart Planning
2.2.9

Ordinance No. 2524 should be amended to charge the LUCB with the responsibility of preparing, adopting, and implementing a Comprehensive Plan and be required to use the adopted plans as the basis for its decisions.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Smart Planning
Completed 2.2.10

LUCB members should obtain a minimum of 12 hours of annual training to remain members of the body.

LUCB members currently undergo annual training as well as ethics training.

Smart Planning
Completed 2.2.11

DPD will advocate strongly for its recommendations and adopted plans.

The Department of Planning references adopted plans in the LUCB and BOA staff reports.

Smart Planning
2.2.12

Prepare and direct a yearly “Training and Professional Development Plan” to identify gaps in skills and knowledge for each department, taking into account emerging trends and best practices.

Due to budget constraints, this strategy has not been adopted.

Smart Planning
2.2.13

The planning functions of the DPD and HCD should be collaborative as they address neighborhood redevelopment and planning projects, and the divisions should consider new structural approaches that address duplicate functions.

There is on-going collaboration between Department of Planning and Development and Housing and Community Development, however no structural approach has been developed for long term collaboration.

Smart Planning
Completed 2.2.14

Greater requirements for public input should be required by DPD like electronic notices, more effective sign posting, and public board meetings streamed online.

Electronic notices are provided on zoning cases and board meetings are streamed online. Archived footage can be reviewed here: http://www.cityofmemphis.org/Government/CityCouncil/ArchivesofMeetings.aspx

Smart Planning
2.2.15

Increase public participation requirements for documents such as the comprehensive plan, neighborhood plans, annexation studies and other special interest plans and projects.

Public participation has been a hallmark of the Mid-South Regional Greenprint planning process Mid-South Regional Greenprint planning process and other planning initiatives driven by the MPO and the Aerotropolis Master Plan process.  This will continue to be a pivotal part of work in DPD.

Smart Planning
Completed 2.2.16

Create a quarterly reporting system, similar to the previously produced Urban Development Report, to track development patterns.

This is reported to the Memphis-Shelby County Division of Planning and Development each quarter.  

Smart Planning
2.2.17

Allow private development LEED Neighborhood Development Certified Projects to be fast-tracked through the entitlement and permit process.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.  Support for this approach was echoed in the work of the Green Building Task Force.  The Office of Sustainability will explore how to implement this goal.

Smart Planning
Completed 2.2.18

Ordinances for “Sustainability Development Zones” where special bonuses are given for compact, mixed-use, transit-oriented, and energy-efficient development should be passed.

This has essentially been achieved through the approval of the overlay districts.

Smart Planning
2.2.19

After the Comprehensive Plan and comprehensive rezoning, the UDC should be amended to require that planned developments be approved by ordinance.

This strategy has not been pursued due to process concerns, as this would require three readings rather than one.  This would lengthen the approval process and make development more difficult.

Smart Planning
Completed 2.2.20

The UDC should include additional use standards for certain hazardous waste industrial uses including radioactive materials.

*See section 2.6.4B of the Unified Development Code for Industrial Use Standards of Radioactive Materials/Waste.

Smart Planning
Completed 2.2.21

The UDC should require new local street lanes to be no wider than the measurement that corresponds to the desired automobile speed needed.

See section 5.2.7C of the Unified Development Code on Major and Minor Connector Street widths.

Smart Planning
Completed 2.2.22

Study existing streets to determine those that have characteristics encouraging excessive traffic speeds and initiate plans for reducing lane number or widths or provide other traffic calming devices on those streets.

Long Range Transportation Plan 2040 has a complete streets policy (page 5-41) to give the region ideas on how to do this, it is not mandatory.  If a particular road can encourage strategies they get more points in the 2014-2017 TIP.

Smart Planning
Completed 2.2.23

The UDC should implement reduced parking requirements and provide maximum allowances based on the current best planning practices.

See table in 4.5.3E of the Unified Development Code for a list of parking reductions that can be applied.

Smart Planning
2.2.24

The UDC should permit angular on-street parking in pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods where appropriate and should limit surface parking lots in urban areas by encouraging the redevelopment of buildings on existing surface parking lots and require building facades to meet the street edge.

The promotion of placing parking behind buildings is in the Unified Development Code, angled on-street parking is not in the UDC since it is not a zoning issue.

Smart Planning
Completed 2.2.25

Form a Green Building Task Force made up of real estate professionals to examine the existing building code and make recommendations on how it could become more green.

In September 2011, the Green Building Task Force was convened and met on a monthly basis.  Read the recommendations in the report here.

Smart Planning
2.2.26

All technical building code committees and appeals boards should have at least two LEED Accredited Professionals.

There is no requirement for LEED professionals on technical committees, however the boards seats are occupied by industry professionals.

Smart Planning
2.3.1

CIPs’ should be reviewed for consistency with the adopted Comprehensive Plan and DPD should prepare a written Conformance Evaluation for each proposed CIP investment.

Since there is not an updated Comprehensive Plan in place, this strategy has not been addressed.

Capital Improvement Projects
Completed 2.3.2

Provide a Sustainability Impact Statement for each proposed project in the CIP and for key pieces of legislation and policy decisions; the statement would be a key factor in the evaluation process.

On February 8, 2016, Shelby County Commission approved the inclusion of a Sustainability Impact Statement in the summary sheet for each capital improvement project submitted for approval.

Capital Improvement Projects
2.3.3

Urban art projects whose funding is guaranteed by CIP funding should be expanded to include Shelby County Government, Memphis City Schools, and Shelby County Schools in earmarking 1% of all CIP projects. Local Urban Art CIP programs should be amended to allow funding to be spent in alignment with an Urban Arts Plan so that funds are not limited to a site-specific project.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Capital Improvement Projects
In Progress 2.4.1

DPD will work with HCD and their existing neighborhood-level commercial revitalization initiatives to support locally-owned small businesses to address financing needed for building upgrades and façade improvements, improving access to low interest loans and grant opportunities and providing business management counseling.

On-going.

Community Redevelopment
Completed 2.4.2

A proactive Environmental Team (E-team) should partner with neighborhoods to aggressively use the Tennessee Nuisance Law and the Neighborhood Preservation Act to address problem properties.

The E-Team, made up of various groups working in environmental remediation, meets on a periodic basis and works to use various strategies to combat blight and abandonment.

Community Redevelopment
2.4.3

Amend ordinances to add a maintenance code that sets higher standards for privately and publicly-owned property including maintaining the original transparency of commercial building fronts and retaining appropriate front and rear external lighting regardless of occupancy.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Community Redevelopment
Completed 2.4.4

Aggressively pursue large scale redevelopment opportunities using either the existing Shelby County Land Bank or a newly created joint Memphis-Shelby County Land Bank.

Shelby County Land Bank markets surplus city and county properties and now makes it easier for prospective buyers to select properties.  Learn more here.

Community Redevelopment
2.4.5

The Land Bank Office should prepare a study of revenue gained from the outright sale of tax delinquent properties vs. if the property is freely gifted to county government to sell for use in a redevelopment project and returned to the tax rolls with a higher assessed value due to its revitalization.

This strategy has not been pursued, as it has the potential for abuse.  This idea must be explored further.

Community Redevelopment
In Progress 2.4.6

A process should be created to streamline the transfer and sale of tax reverted and surplus property. Authority should be granted to Shelby County Government to receive unwanted property from owners who have unpaid taxes due; authority should be granted to allow county government the ability to gift property to 501(c)(3) groups for purposes other than single-family residential development.

Partially complete.  No process has been established for the County to receive unwanted property from taxpayers, but a process has been established to allow county properties to be gifted to nonprofits.  In 2010, state legislation passed to allow a county to gift a property to non-profits by the 106th General Assembly (SB2810; HB3069; Public Chapter 1064).  Since this law passed, Shelby County through their Land Bank has donated over 87 properties to non-profits for community use.

Community Redevelopment
In Progress 2.4.7

The Homebuyers Revolving Loan Program should be re-established and actively seek collaborative relationships with other relevant government, non-profit, housing, and real estate development agencies.

On-going.  Homebuyers Revolving Loan Program has been on-going for many years, due to current economic conditions across the nation, it is not as robust as in the past.

Community Redevelopment
2.4.8

Identify and study existing smaller urban lots to determine whether they may be re-zoned to the R3 (minimum lot size 2,500 square feet) district.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Community Redevelopment
2.4.9

The DPD and HCD should work to establish an official Reinvestment Boundary and all public incentive programs should be limited to projects and areas within the official Reinvestment Boundary.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Community Redevelopment
2.5.1

The Comprehensive Plan and all neighborhood plans should contain standards and principals for creating a better -Public Realm.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Public Realm
Completed 2.5.2

Establish an in-house design studio for the creation of best practice planning documents in order to provide design support for plans created by Memphis and Shelby County Governments. The staff should partner with local educational institutions to provide design experience to students.

The Memphis Regional Design Center serves this purpose.

Public Realm
In Progress 2.5.3

Create a countywide Streetscape Master Plan to identify the street types and their corresponding streetscape elements which could include raised crosswalks, curb extensions, street trees, on-street parking, bicycle lanes, medians, and street furniture.

Street types and streetscape elements are included in MPO's Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, in addition a Complete Streets Design Guide is being created to address this topic.

Public Realm
2.5.4

A Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District should be created immediately to provide the Center City Commission with a dedicated funding source needed to fully implement the Downtown Streetscape Master Plan.

Not being pursued at this time, as this idea was rejected by the Memphis City Council several years ago.

Public Realm
Completed 2.5.5

The UDC should require all commercial property (including nonconformities) to install required landscaping improvements and achieve compliance with the existing sidewalk ordinance prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy Permit.

See section 4.6 of the Unified Development Code for Landscape & Screening requirements.  Nonconformities, however, are protected from any and all new regulations of a zoning code.

Public Realm
In Progress 2.5.6

Encourage neighborhoods to use vacant government-owned lots to plant native vegetation and then transplant these to the corridors in their neighborhood. Educate the community about the importance of urban forestry and native vegetation.

This is encouraged whenever possible. Memphis City Beautiful, Agricenter, STAX Museum, and other city departments cleaned up a vacant lot in Soulsville and planted sunflowers.  View pictures here

Public Realm
2.5.7

Develop an urban forestry program, hire a full-time urban forester to audit the current system, develop a Tree Master Plan, and create an initiative to plant 5,000 street trees per year. 

Working toward this goal, 200 Yoshino cherry trees were planted in downtown Memphis, 300 trees were planted in Overton Park, and Shelby Farms Park Conservancy's goal is to plant one million trees.

Public Realm
In Progress 2.5.8

The Comprehensive Plan and City of Memphis Division of Park Services Facilities Master Plan should have a goal of providing a public park within a 10-minute walking distance of every neighborhood.

The Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability's Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan calls for this goal.

Public Realm
Completed 2.5.9

Efficient public transportation should connect the community to our regional parks.

MATA service extends to nearly all regional parks within Shelby County.  View schedules here.

Public Realm
Completed 2.5.10

Use sustainability as a guiding principle for all improvements to Shelby Farms Park in order to set the standard for our community. *The conservation goals of the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy as outlined in the 2009-2013 business plan include:  “The plan for conservation will ensure that the principles of environmental stewardship and green and open are applied to all projects and programs.”  “Sustainable practices will be developed and implemented in the areas of energy -Consumption, stormwater management and solid waste management / recycling.”  “The Master Plan sets a goal of planting one million trees.”  

Shelby Farms Playground was one of the first projects in the world to be certified by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES). Read about it here

Public Realm
Completed 2.5.11

Public space should include regularly scheduled activities and events to encourage usage by the general public and an information packet should be created to provide interested organizations and individuals with all the information needed to reserve public space for events.

Park space in Memphis and Shelby County is regularly used by the public.  Schedules are posted online for Shelby Farms Park, Overton Park, Memphis City Parks, the State Parks TO Fuller & Meeman-Shelby, and municipal parks in Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland, and Millington

Public Realm
2.6.1

Lobby the Tennessee Legislature to establish a dedicated funding source (such as a statewide gas tax) for better urban public transit and, until then, MATA should be funded by county government and all municipal governments on a sliding scale.

This strategy has not been implemented to date. Recent referendums for a local sales tax to fund public transportation failed.

Rethinking Transportation
In Progress 2.6.2

Develop a Regional Transit Plan recommending strategies for creating a world-class public transit system throughout the greater Memphis region.

As part of a larger regional planning effort with the Greenprint Plan, the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability is looking at how accessible our employment areas are to the population in the Bus Transit to Workplace study. The project will examine how the region’s employment is distributed geographically and how well employment areas are served by transportation, including bus routes, bike lanes, and walking paths.

Rethinking Transportation
Completed 2.6.3

Encourage MATA to acquire and implement technology to measure service performance such as Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and Automatic People Counters (APC) Devices.

In 2012, MATA equipped buses with GPS and Automatic People Counters.  Read more here.

Rethinking Transportation
Completed 2.6.4

Provide rapid bus service between residential areas and urban and suburban employment centers to serve as an intermediate step in the planning of a bus rapid transit system and future light rail.

MATA provides Bus Rapid Transit on their "Whitehaven Flyer" line running between Downtown and Whitehaven. Read more here.

Rethinking Transportation
2.6.5

Evaluate the existing trolley service and address barriers that prevent them from providing regular, reliable, and on-time trolley service, and work toward the goal of offering free service.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Rethinking Transportation
Completed 2.6.6

Sell discounted monthly transit passes to customers so that riders can realize greater financial benefits the more they use their pass.

MATA offers FastPass which is unlimited rides at a discounted rate.  View the fee schedule here.

Rethinking Transportation
2.6.7

Offer free bus passes to private sector and government employees to encourage riding public transit.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Rethinking Transportation
Completed 2.6.8

Design, install, and maintain bike racks near all transit centers and include bike racks on all buses.

MATA has bike racks on all fixed-route buses & bike racks at all passenger facilities.  Read about it here & here

Rethinking Transportation
Completed 2.6.9

The UDC should require all new development plans to comply with the Major Road Plan for road extensions and improvements, limiting the basis for waivers.

See section 1.9 of the Unified Development Code for plans that are considered in any decisions that are made, including MPO’s Long Range Transportation Plan (formerly called Major Road Plan).

Rethinking Transportation
Completed 2.6.10

Incorporate a “connectivity analysis” into MPO's Long-Range Transportation Plan to identify locations where connectivity could be improved and prioritize CIP funding.

MPO's Long-Range Transportation Plan incorporates the connectivity analysis and one of the criteria for ranking projects in the CIP Budget Committee is if the project is included in an adopted plan.

Rethinking Transportation
2.6.11

Partner with intermodal rail yards, port operators, trucking companies, and neighborhood residents in high-freight volume areas to identify routes most in need of improvement and routes that need to be relocated.

Not being pursued at this time.

Rethinking Transportation
Completed 2.6.12

Incorporate improvements identified in the Memphis Regional Chamber’s Infrastructure Study into the MPO's next Long-Range Transportation Plan.

The Chamber's study was included in the LRTP 2040 as part of the chapter on Existing Conditions Analysis.

Rethinking Transportation
In Progress 2.6.13

Organize business plan competitions to create local car-sharing and bicycle-sharing programs to test these ideas within Shelby County.

Downtown Memphis Commission brought zip-car to Memphis which is a car-sharing program. Shelby County Health Department brought vRide to the area which is a van-pooling program and has conducted a bike share feasibility study. Since the bike share program would cost an estimated $2 million, funding solutions are being sought before continuing.

Rethinking Transportation
Completed 2.6.14

Hire or designate a Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the greater Memphis region to advance the potential of new bicycle initiatives, ensure that bicycle needs are integrated into plans and support the efforts of grassroots bicycle organizations.

Kyle Wagenschutz, the city's first Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, was hired September 2010 by the City of Memphis and the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization.  Read more about Kyle here & here.

Rethinking Transportation
Completed 2.6.15

Update the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan to incorporate changes suggested in the 2030 Long Range Transportation Plan to identify bicycle lanes that can be easily striped, contain the latest design standards for bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and be consistent with local municipal plans.

The Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan, adopted in 2011, includes recommendations for specific streets (pp.59-238).

Rethinking Transportation
In Progress 2.6.16

Promote an inter-jurisdictional dedicated funding source for bicycle and pedestrian improvements prioritized in the MPO’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan in local CIPs and yearly operating budgets.

Funds are set aside in MPO's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for bicycle and pedestrian type of projects, and higher points are awarded to projects if they are included in the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan.

Rethinking Transportation
Completed 2.6.17

The Ride Sharing Program should consider ways to encourage carpooling, car-sharing, and bicycle sharing through prepaid gas cards and an interactive website or service for linking potential carpoolers with a goal of retooling the current rideshare program.

Shelby County Health Department's Ride Sharing Program, called vRide, reduces pollution. For more information about sharing a ride click here.

Rethinking Transportation
2.7.1

Review existing green building codes throughout the United States and recommend how Memphis and Shelby County can implement model green building codes and develop a “Green Points” program requiring all new construction to submit a LEED for New Construction checklist and earn a specified minimum number of points in order to receive a building permit.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

A Leader for Green Buildings
2.7.2

Amend Building Codes to require that all commercial buildings and multi-family residential buildings of 10,000 SF or more achieve a minimum of LEED Certified or equivalent and require that all new construction achieve a minimum of LEED Certified or equivalent.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

A Leader for Green Buildings
Completed 2.7.3

Adopt an energy code to encourage better performing buildings and educate the public beforehand.

Memphis-Shelby County Code Enforcement adopted the 2009 Energy Code in 2012 as an upgrade from the previous version.

A Leader for Green Buildings
2.7.4

Develop a public education and awareness campaign aimed at dispelling myths about the cost of green buildings and infrastructure.

Not being pursued at this time.

A Leader for Green Buildings
2.7.5

Require all land use applications with a site plan component to have a completed LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) scorecard as part of the application review process.

LEED ND aspects were incorporated into the subdivision requirements of the UDC.  A scorecard is not a part of the application process though.

A Leader for Green Buildings
Completed 2.7.6

Survey local developers about what incentives would be most effective in creating more sustainable projects and study major metro areas to learn how they exceed their local standards for sustainable design.

Vivian Jaynes, a Memphis-native, completed this strategy as part of her master’s project in City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Read her recommendations and case studies here.

A Leader for Green Buildings
2.7.7

The UDC should include incentives, such as density bonuses, when green roofs are included in a development plan.

Incentives can be explored. Since density maximums are not included in the UDC, a density bonus would not necessarily be an incentive.

A Leader for Green Buildings
Protecting and Improving Our Environment
Status Strategy Summary Comments Sub Category
Completed 3.1.1

Provide free on-site home energy audits for residents of Shelby County with priority given to low and moderate income residents in conjunction with a -Public Awareness campaign coordinated by the Office of Sustainability.

The Office of Sustainability coordinated the Mayors' Energy Challenge to promote Public Awareness around various opportunities for residential and commenercial energy efficiency. 

Consumption
Completed 3.1.2

Amend the City of Memphis code of ordinance to set minimum standards for energy efficiency for all rental property.

City of Memphis Ordinance 5292 was passed in 2009 to provide for minimum energy efficiency in rental property.  Renters can report low energy efficiency standards at 901-322-5757.  Read more about the program here and a story of its effectiveness here & here

Consumption
In Progress 3.1.3

Departments and divisions should be able to use grant funds to implement efficiency measures with savings being rolled back into the grant program.

Energy efficiency improvements are taking place in City and County facilities (Read the article on retrofits on page 2 of the Sustainability Newsletter).  There are complications with regard to rolling savings back to a particular division since most buildings are occupied by multiple divisions.  However, incentive structures are being explored.

Consumption
3.1.4

Create a new ordinance to require an energy audit, using a rating system such as the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, before new or existing homes are sold.

There is no requirement for an energy rating, however MLGW now has eScore, an optional program that ranks your house on a 1-10 scale on energy efficiency. Rebates are offered through this program as incentive for improvements.  Learn more here

Consumption
Completed 3.1.5

Amend local demolition permits to require applicants to submit a recycling plan for proposed demolition of structures larger than 2,500 SF and require recycling of 25-50% of all demolition or construction waste for construction projects requiring a permit.

For buildings over 10,000 SF, applicants must recycle 25-50% of demolition or construction waste.

Consumption
3.1.6

Conduct a comprehensive waste audit of -Public Buildings to better understand the amount of resources used and thrown away and document the process.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Consumption
Completed 3.1.7

Implement a recycling program and designate areas in government buildings where the public can bring recyclable materials.

Recycling containers for the public are placed in various locations around the city and county.  View a list of drop-off locations near you.

Consumption
Completed 3.2.1

Join ICLEI's Carbon Disclosure Project in an effort to openly acknowledge the county's carbon footprint.

Office of Sustainability joined ICLEI in 2011, and renewed membership in 2015 in order to use software and support for data analysis for the Compact of Mayors.

Protecting Natural Resources
Completed 3.2.2

Encourage Memphis Light, Gas, and Water Division (MLGW) to show customers the amount of carbon dioxide released through their use of resources.

By logging into My Account on MLGW's website and viewing the "live green/reduce your footprint" link in the upper right, you can see your carbon footprint based on your usage.

Protecting Natural Resources
Completed 3.2.3

Perform an Environmental Quality Assessment to determine the baseline measurements and establish goals for the region.

The Office of Sustainability focused on the environmental assessment of City and County buildings, as the City and County have more control over carbon reductions in these facilities.  Moving forward the Office is looking at tracking additional indicators such as gasoline use, miles of bike lanes, and amount of alternative energy installed.

Protecting Natural Resources
Completed 3.2.4

Help municipalities and organizations apply for all applicable Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) grants provided by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

The Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) works with member jurisdictions and agencies to prepare proposals for the TDOT statewide CMAQ program, and the MPO is the agency which actually submits the proposals to TDOT.

Protecting Natural Resources
Completed 3.2.5

Initiate a public planning process to develop a Regional Water Resources Plan to protect watersheds, develop policies, and identify water quality problems.

The Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability's Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan furthers this goal.

Protecting Natural Resources
In Progress 3.2.6

Form an inter-state coalition to oversee issues and factors that affect ground water quality and quantity.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. co-chairs the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative which focuses on economic and environmental issues around the River.

Protecting Natural Resources
Completed 3.2.7

The UDC should have an environmental protection zoning overlay to restrict inappropriate new development in environmentally sensitive areas.

This is done through the floodplain overlay in the UDC.

Protecting Natural Resources
In Progress 3.2.8

Establish relationships with local environmental justice offices to identify, communicate, and collaborate on environmental concerns that threaten neighborhoods.

This is on-going through the Office of Sustainability.

Protecting Natural Resources
Completed 3.2.9

Create an environmental justice training program for public sector staff and other interested organizations.

All City and County employees receive Title IX training and organizations such as the local Sierra Club focus on environmental justice programs throughout the county.

Protecting Natural Resources
Completed 3.2.10

Recruit organizations that will be partners for a Health Equity and Community Development program which would be an exemplary holistic, community-based approach to ensure all citizens have access to quality healthcare, preventative programs, and information about healthy lifestyles.

The Healthy Shelby Initiative, launched by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, Jr., focuses better health, better care, and lower costs as strategies for improved community health and economic vitality.

Protecting Natural Resources
Completed 3.2.11

Greening Greater Memphis’ proposal for a network of green assets should be adopted as a priority for our community.

The Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability's Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan furthers this goal.

Protecting Natural Resources
In Progress 3.2.12

Enhance access to area rivers and lakes for recreational water activities in conformance with best practices for parks and open space.

The Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability's Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan furthers this goal.

Protecting Natural Resources
Greening Our Economy
Status Strategy Summary Comments Sub Category
Completed 4.1.1

Develop an agenda for the future that builds into existing and future -Economic Development plans to create -Green Jobs and grow a green sector in the regional economy.

The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Business Planning Initiative conducted by Memphis-Shelby County EDGE addresses these issues in their final report.

Green Jobs
4.1.2

Increase local research capacity for green technologies and renewable energy by establishing a Cleantech Demonstration Center to create, test, and showcase products and The Green Business Incubator to create start up companies resulting from the research.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Green Jobs
4.1.3

Establish a Sustainability Seed Fund to provide early stage capital for local green businesses, innovators, and participants in the Green Business Incubator.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Green Jobs
4.1.4

Issue an RFP to create a local Green Technology Industrial Park as a public-private partnership for green businesses (esp those created through Green Business Incubator) to work together.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Green Jobs
4.1.5

Workforce Investment Network (WIN) should provide funding and support for Green Job training programs through current workforce training programs and identify green job opportunities.

Memphis Bioworks Foundation offered free Environmental Job Training and Placement for select zip codes during the summers of 2012 and 2013.  This is through an EPA grant.

Green Jobs
4.1.6

Partner with The Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau to identify and bring to the area national Green Job and “Cleantech” events and conferences. *The Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference was held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center April 10-11, 2012.

The Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference was held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center April 10-11, 2012.

The Tennessee Renewable Energy & Economic Development Council (TREEDC) held their Conference in Memphis November 18, 2011.

Green Jobs
Completed 4.2.2

Require applications for entitlements or incentives to quantify the economic and environmental impacts/benefits of the proposed project.

This is included in the applicant's narrative when submitting a project.

Economic Development
Completed 4.2.3

Amend PILOT (Payment-in-lieu-of taxes) application processes to award additional points to projects that incorporate existing vacant or underutilized buildings and that achieve specific sustainability benchmarks such as “LEED for Existing Buildings”.

Awardees are given additional time on their PILOTs if they practice specific “green” measures.  See pages 12-14 of the program overview.

Economic Development
4.2.4

Revise policies to require that any project receiving tax abatement through the PILOT program must achieve a minimum of LEED Bronze Certified or equivalent for all new construction over 50,000 SF.

Awardees are given additional time on their PILOTs if they practice specific “green” measures. See pages 12-14 of the program overview.

Economic Development
Completed 4.2.5

Amend PILOT application processes to award additional points to projects that incorporate existing vacant or underutilized buildings in lieu of new construction and that achieve specific sustainability benchmarks such as LEED for Existing Buildings.

Awardees are given additional time on their PILOTs if they practice specific “green” measures. See pages 12-14 of the program overview.

Economic Development
Completed 4.2.6

Aggressively pursue large scale redevelopment opportunities using either the existing Shelby County Land Bank or a newly created joint Memphis-Shelby County Land Bank.

Shelby County Land Bank will market surplus city and county properties which will now make it easier for prospective buyers.  Learn more here.

Economic Development
4.2.7

Develop an open, multiservice fiber network, publicly built and maintained but open to the private sector.

Through a grant, the South Memphis neighborhood of Soulsville will receive community-wide Wi-Fi infrastructure.  Read more about it here.  Look here for places in Memphis and Shelby County that have free Wi-Fi. As part of the City of Memphis "Clean and Green" strategy, an open Wi-Fi network is being explored. 

Economic Development
4.2.8

Work with the Shelby County Health Department to review and update their rules and regulations to remove any barriers that may be faced by local farmers in selling and offering of their goods and produce in local farmers markets.

The Food Advisory Council for Memphis-Shelby County is coordinating this with the Shelby County Health Department.

Economic Development
Completed 4.2.1

Partner with regional business leaders to create a bi-annual sustainable business conference to inform local businesses of the broader sustainability movement and connect local green business ventures.

The first annual Memphis-Shelby County Sustainability Summit was held in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, TDEC's Energy Office, and Pathway Lending (a non-profit bank).  There were more than 200 attendees present for the two-day conference.  Read more here

Economic Development
Learning Green Lessons
Status Strategy Summary Comments Sub Category
Completed 5.1.1

Update the Sustainable Shelby website to include educational materials and inform citizens of ongoing projects in the Office of Sustainability.

Visit our website, "like" us on facebook, and "follow" us on twitter.

Public Awareness
Completed 5.1.2

Raise awareness of sustainable practices by designating “Sustainability Month” and holding educational sessions for the public during that time.

Mayors Luttrell and Wharton declared April 2012, 2013, & 2014 to be Sustainability Month.  Read their newspaper editorials for 2012, 2013, & 2014 and view the calendar of events for 2012, 2013, & 2014.

Public Awareness
Completed 5.1.3

Organize a bi-annual Mid-South Sustainability Summit that hosts nationally recognized speakers and a forum where information can be exchanged.

The first annual Memphis-Shelby County Sustainability Summit was held in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, TDEC's Energy Office, and Pathway Lending (a non-profit bank).  There were more than 200 attendees present for the two-day conference.  Read more here.

Public Awareness
Completed 5.1.4

Begin a neighborhood outreach program, led by DPD's Neighborhood Planners, that would emphasize education and collaboration on the planning process with neighborhood associations and community based organizations.

This was developed as part of Mid-South Regional Greenprint through community outreach and Planning in Your Community Curriculum with the CD Council.  

Public Awareness
Completed 5.1.5

Develop and offer sustainability educational programs and activities, particularly for children, at local libraries.

While these activities do not always take place in libraries, there are many non-profits hosting educational activities for children. For example: each year, Shelby Farms offers greenline gardening workshops and other youth activities, Memphis City Beautiful and Clean Memphis do programing in the schools, Wolf River Conservancy offers field trips and service projects, and Bobby Lanier Farm Park offers an array of educational activities for children

Public Awareness
In Progress 5.1.6

Create a roadway safety education campaign to educate the public about how to act safely as pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorists.

A roadway safety campaign is being formed. Check out these tips on bicycle safety with an informative safety video & information on sharing lanes here.

Public Awareness
Completed 5.1.7

Encourage financing options for energy efficiency improvements on new and existing buildings.

Through the Mayors' Energy Challenge, a public-private partnership was designed to provide the necessary tools and resources to motivate individuals in the community to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.

Public Awareness
5.2.1

Include the concepts of sustainability into the current curriculum like an “eat what you grow” program.

Not being pursued at this time.  The Shelby County Health Department is engaged in the work on healthy living and thus food deserts.  They support the Green Machine and farmers' markets.

Eco-Kids and Eco-Schools
Completed 5.2.2

Create a sustainability-focused “Clean Up, Fix Up, Green Up” program that includes a check list for school children to take home and to do as part of a larger countywide clean-up program.

Clean Memphis leads a program called Sustainable Schools Challenge which guides schools through a checklist of sustainable projects.  Read about the first year here.  

Eco-Kids and Eco-Schools
Completed 5.2.3

Design new school buildings to combine national best practices and LEED Certification to demonstrate the principles of green building and the importance of resource conservation.

When building new schools, the consolidated Shelby County School System uses many of the principles of green building in terms of lighting, occupancy sensors and mechanical equipment.

Eco-Kids and Eco-Schools
Completed 5.2.4

Perform periodic energy audits of existing buildings and conduct energy retrofits when necessary in the school systems.

The Energy Manager for the merged school system tracks energy use in all buildings and makes upgrades when feasible and when opportunities arise. Craigmont High School received a top award from EPA for their energy reductions. Read more about the award here.

Eco-Kids and Eco-Schools
Leading By Example
Status Strategy Summary Comments Sub Category
Completed 6.1.1

Form the Office of Sustainability.

The Office of Sustainability was formed in April of 2011 and is located in the Division of Planning and Development, a joint City-County agency.

The Green Center and Office of Sustainability
Completed 6.1.2

Hire an experienced urbanist with a record of proven success for Office of Sustainability.

Paul A. Young was appointed April 2011 as Administrator of the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability, a joint City-County agency. Read more about Paul here.

The Green Center and Office of Sustainability
Completed 6.1.3

Create a public advisory commission to serve as an information conduit from neighborhoods and green organizations to the Office of Sustainability.

The Sustainable Advisory Committee held its first meeting 9-21-2011.

The Green Center and Office of Sustainability
6.1.4

Establish a center for sustainability “The Green Center” as the focus for all things sustainable in our community to house the Office of Sustainability, a business incubator, a venture fund for green businesses, a sustainability policy institute and office space for nonprofit green organizations.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

The Green Center and Office of Sustainability
6.1.5

Create and maintain an online directory of local green businesses.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

The Green Center and Office of Sustainability
6.1.6

Develop a “Sustainability Scorecard Program” for all departments and divisions within Shelby County Government that could become a model for other area governments and evaluate them on a yearly basis to determine the progress made toward sustainability goals.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

The Green Center and Office of Sustainability
6.2.1

Revise current City and County purchasing policies to consider the total cost over the life of the goods, services, and equipment.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Public Leadership: Purchasing
6.2.2

Institute a “Green Purchasing Policy” that requires the purchase of environmentally preferable products within 10 percent of the lowest bid and submit to the public a detailed yearly purchasing report.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Public Leadership: Purchasing
In Progress 6.2.3

Create a task force to study how county government can leverage its buying power by coordinating with other local municipalities.

The City and County purchase fuel at the same rate and the County also utilizes certain State contracts.  Source: Shelby Co Efficiency Review, p89.

Public Leadership: Purchasing
Completed 6.2.4

Inventory all vehicles in the city and county fleets and create a plan for gradual replacement of the existing fleet with vehicles that are alternatively fueled and energy efficient.

This work was completed by Memphis Bioworks Foundation through a subplanning award from the Mid-South Regional Greenprint Plan.  A link to the inventory and plan is here.  

Public Leadership: Purchasing
6.2.5

Develop a pilot program that allows a department to reserve a portion of the savings through energy and resource conservation for use within that department or division and prepare a “Responsible -Consumption Plan” that documents its specific efforts to save energy and reduce -Consumption.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Public Leadership: Purchasing
Completed 6.2.6

Create an outreach program with the goal of increasing education and awareness of the government contractor/vendor program and certification process including the establishment of a County’s Bonding Assistance Program and Insurance Assistance Program for small business owners doing business with Shelby County.

Shelby County continues to do educational sessions and outreach on these issues.

Public Leadership: Purchasing
6.2.7

Establish measurable goals for increasing opportunities for local, minority, and green businesses to provide goods and services.

The City of Memphis has a goal of 25% for local and minority businesses; while Shelby County has an LOSB goal of 20%.  There are currently no measurements for green businesses.

Public Leadership: Purchasing
6.3.1

Require that all new publicly owned buildings greater than 10,000 square feet achieve a minimum of LEED Silver Certification.

It is possible to have a green standard of building, but just not require the certification because it is cost prohibitive.

Public Buildings
Completed 6.3.2

Conduct energy audits on publicly owned buildings and rate their efficiency.

With the assistance of funds from the Department of Energy grant, the Office of Sustainability conducted energy audits on two Public Buildings, Shelby Farms Visitor’s Center and Memphis and Shelby County Code Enforcement (read about it here).  The City of Memphis is working with Memphis Bioworks Foundation and Siemens to coordinate future audits and improvements, while the Office of Sustainability is working with the Shelby County Division of Public Works to coordinate audits and improvements at County facilities.

Public Buildings
Completed 6.3.3

Conduct a comrehensive review of existing assets and anticipated future needs for new Public Buildings for the next 25 years and develop a strategic method for selecing future project sites.

Shelby County Government has a database of Public Buildings and a policy to determine if those can be reused.  Every CIP project for renovation is required to compare the cost of reusing vs. new construction. One county building recently renovated is 157 Poplar Ave where the Trustee's Office and the Jury Pool are located.  Read more about how renovating this building saved $5.3 million.

Public Buildings
6.3.4

Create a database of all existing Public Buildings, create a policy for determining if an existing building can be reused or expanded in lieu of new construction, look for vacant or underutilized privately-owned buildings to purchase in the vicinity of the proposed project, and consider the availability of existing underutilized or vacant buildings before any decision to undertake a new construction project is finalized.

Shelby County Government has a database of Public Buildings and a policy to determine if those can be reused. Every CIP project for renovation is required to compare the cost of reusing vs. new construction. One county building recently renovated is 157 Poplar Ave where the Trustee's Office and the Jury Pool are located. Read more here about how renovating this building saved $5.3 million.

Public Buildings
6.3.5

Hold public meetings at the start of the schematic design phase for each new public building or capital project, investigate the potential negative impacts, and suggest possible mitigation strategies.

The building design presentation before the Shelby County Commission is public, but not during the design phase.  For the City of Memphis, this is handled in-house by the City Engineer.

Public Buildings
Completed 6.3.6

Create a set of design guidelines for new -Public Buildings (through a public participation process) that addresses neighborhood impact, building height, massing, scale, lot coverage, use of materials, architectural character, landscaping requirements, parking requirements, exterior lighting, noise generation, signage, fencing, and other related concerns.

These topics are covered in various sections of the Unified Development Code.

Public Buildings
6.3.7

When significant upgrades or modifications to an existing publicly owned building are made, complete a “LEED for Existing Buildings” checklist to assess the feasibility of incorporating sustainable design into the project.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Public Buildings
6.3.8

Identify at least three feasible future uses for new construction in an “Alternate Use Plan” and estimate the extent of changes that would be required and include an estimate from the Engineer specifying the expected useful life of the building.

This strategy has not been addressed to date.

Public Buildings
6.3.9

Create an official policy encouraging the co-location of compatible uses within new and existing -Public Buildings and schools whenever feasible.

While not an official policy, Shelby County considers co-location whenever feasible.  Two examples are Shelby County Crime Victims Center, which is a hub of victim services, and Head Start facilities.

Public Buildings
6.3.10

Key public departments should have at least one employee certified as a LEED Accredited Professional.

There is no policy in place to reflect this goal.

Public Buildings