What is a Greenprint

In November 2011, Shelby County Government was awarded the HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant in the amount of $2,619,999 for the Mid-South Regional Greenprint & Sustainability Plan.  The plan is designed to enhance regional livability and sustainability by establishing a unified vision for a region-wide network of greenspace areas, or Greenprint, which serves to address long-term housing and land use, resource conservation, environmental protection, accessibility, community health and wellness, transportation alternatives, economic development, neighborhood engagement, and social equity in the Greater Memphis Area.

The regional Greenprint includes parks, greenways, bike trails and walking paths, byways, blueways, conservation lands, natural areas, wildlife management areas, open space areas, community gardens, stormwater management areas, and other similar spaces.  The scope of this plan is defined geographically by the boundaries of the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and West Memphis MPO, including jurisdictions in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

The development of a Regional Greenprint & Sustainability Plan will address the need for initiating long-term comprehensive land use planning in the Greater Memphis Area.

HUD’s Six Livability Principles

The plan and its implementation by collaborating groups throughout the region focuses on alignment with HUD’s six livability principles by:

  • Providing more transportation choices through increased greenway, multi-modal, bike and pedestrian routes and greater connectivity within and between communities;
  • Promoting equitable, affordable housing by improving environmental conditions and amenities for urban neighborhoods adjoining greenways and open spaces, and planning land use and zoning changes to promote affordable housing;
  • Enhancing economic competitiveness by improving quality of life in the Mid-South region thereby attracting/retaining businesses and residents;
  • Supporting existing communities through providing new or improved greenway and open space amenities and access to economic or employment opportunities connected to greenways and open spaces;
  • Coordinating policies and leveraging investment related to greenways and open spaces across the region; and
  • Valuing communities and neighborhoods by enhancing and providing access to greenway and open space amenities and employment opportunities and improving residential property values.

Proposed Outcomes

Over the planning period of three years and beyond, the expected results of the plan include:

  • Increased participation and decision-making by traditionally marginalized populations;
  • Increase in access to greenways, bikeways and other modes of alternative transportation or fuels throughout the region, including low-income and minority neighborhoods;
  • Reduced social and economic disparities for disadvantaged populations in the target region, including gradual reduction in poverty levels and a measurable increase in essential goods and services within low-income neighborhoods;
  • Decreased overall combined housing and transportation costs per household;
  • Increased proportion of affordable housing units that have high access to quality fresh foods;
  • Increased proportion of affordable housing located close to walking trails, parks and schools; and
  • Improved public health outcomes that result from creating safer, more walkable neighborhoods.