Design Session
Open Design
Work-In Progress
Public Vision Draft Illustrative
Master Plan
Photo-Realistic Visualizations Draft Focus
Area Plans

Ferrell Madden Associates, a Washington, DC based urban design and planning consultant, and the Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development recently conducted a week long design charrette that was open to the general public. Charrette activities begun on Friday, January 27 and concluded Thursday February 2, 2006.

What is a Charrette? The public participation design charrette is an intensive community-based planning forum that brings together residents, local stakeholders, business people, and government officials to collectively craft a vision for the Broad Avenue Corridor. The charrette format encourages individual involvement in a creative and non-threatening manner. Public participation charrette's have unequaled effectiveness in identifying and focusing citizen participation. As participants see their ideas incorporated into the plan, they recognize their concerns are being addressed and take ownership in the design. Participants often see their desires for their community are remarkably similar to those of other local residents. Ultimately, stakeholder involvement and ownership keep adoption and implementation of the plan more feasible.

Kick-Off Event.The charrette began on Friday evening with an introductory presentation given by members of the consultant team, Louise Mercuro, Deputy Director of the Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development, and the Mayor of Shelby County, AC Wharton.

Hands-On Design Studio. Saturday morning began at 9 AM, with participants gathered around tables in small groups with a team facilitator to identify important issues. Group issues were drawn or written onto large scale base maps of the area. At the conclusion of the session, a spokesperson from each table presented their table’s findings before the larger group. These presentations allowed participants to share their common goals, as well as providing an opportunity for in-depth discussion of particular issues or concerns.

Open Design Studio. During the following week, the design team conducted an on-site design studio in a storefront at the corner of Binham and Broad. During that week, the team analyzed the information gathered at the hands-on session and began to formulate the initial concepts for a master plan of the area. Community residents, elected officials, local stakeholders, and business people stopped in throughout the week as new issues came to mind and to check on the status of the project.

Work-in Progress Presentation. At the end of the charrette week, the team presented initial sketches and visualizations illustrating a conceptual vision for the area. "Before" and "after" photo simulations showing possible development scenarios for Summer Ave, Broad Ave, and Sam Cooper Blvd were also presented. A summary of action strategies was also presented,highlighting the various opportunities for development, detailing the roles and actions needed to facilitate implementation of a plan for the Broad Ave Corridor.