MEMFix: Reorienting Revitalization

While education and advocacy are important and effective methods for getting people engaged and enthusiastic about improving their neighborhoods, we've found that capturing their imagination and showing them what's possible can be the catalyst to affect investment and rapid improvement. 

MEMFix, based on the Better Block concept, has been used to temporarily activate streets, blocks and neighborhoods, creating vibrancy and demonstrating new possibilities for our communities. Successful MEMFix events have been held locally in the Crosstown, South Memphis, University District, Edge District, Pinch District, and South City (Film Row) neighborhoods, each of which has since seen renewed interest and in some cases, significant new activity or investments. 

Bringing together neighborhood stakeholders – residents, businesses and community groups – with design experts and city officials, like planners, designers and engineers, MEMFix is all about creating a new vision for a particular area. We stimulate ideas for that vision through temporarily installing features such as:

  • Bicycle, pedestrian, and traffic calming features like bike lanes, crosswalks and bump-outs at intersections

  • Landscaping, street furniture, pavement-to-plaza spaces, and parklets

  • Pop-up retail in vacant properties

  • Programming like art, music, history, and food trucks to draw people to the neighborhood

These aren't expensive investments; just small things that can make a big difference in the way our neighborhoods function. MEMFix is a great way to try out a revitalization technique without spending a lot of money. 

We started the MEMFix movement with our New Face for an Old Broad event in 2010. Since then we've participated in or led:

  • MEMFix: Film Row (2016)

  • MEMFix: The Pinch (2015)

  • MEMFix: Edge District (2014)

  • South MEMFix (2013)

  • MEMFix: Highland & Walker (University District, 2013)

  • MEMFix: Cleveland (Crosstown, 2012)

We partnered with Innovate Memphis and the City of Memphis to make the MEMFix Manual, which can be downloaded here, available to Memphis neighborhoods. Visit memfix.org for more details, and like the MEMFix Facebook page for information, pictures from past MEMFix events, and the latest news and announcements on future MEMFix projects.

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