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South Memphis Revitalization Plan Aims to Bring New Life to a Historic Neighborhood University News
For release: November 13, 2009

For press information, contact Dr. Kenneth Reardon, 901-678-2610

The South Memphis Revitalization Action Plan (SoMe RAP), a unique partnership between the University of Memphis and a network of community organizations led by the Rev. Kenneth S. Robinson, pastor of St. Andrew AME Church on South Parkway, will serve as a blueprint for building a more vibrant, sustainable, and just community in South Memphis, specifically the area west of Interstate 240, north of Persons Avenue, south of Trigg Avenue, and east of Lauderdale Street.

The comprehensive plan is the work of the South Memphis Renaissance Collaborative (SMRC), which comprises St. Andrew AME Church, The Works, Inc. Community Development Corporation, the U of M, the Memphis Regional Design Center, the Consilience Group, and Self Tucker Architects. The project is also a collaboration with the Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development and the Memphis & Shelby County Division of Planning and Development, and it has support from the Hyde Family Foundations.

During the study on which the plan is based, more than 100 students from the academic areas of anthropology, architecture, city and regional planning, civil engineering, and public health at the U of M, reviewed archival materials, studied housing and population trends, inspected more than 2,000 properties, surveyed a cross-section of community leaders, and interviewed residents from 174 households to gain a deeper understanding of physical and social conditions in South Memphis and to learn more about residents’ hopes and dreams for their neighborhood.

“The South Memphis Revitalization Action Plan puts into action what we are as a metropolitan research university – neighborhood residents, students, faculty members, and community organizations coming together as partners and learning, while simultaneously improving our city,” said David Cox, executive assistant to the president for partnerships and administration.

For more information, contact Dr. Kenneth Reardon, professor and director of the Graduate Program in City and Regional Planning, at 901-678-2610 or

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