Skip to content
CityLab
Design

Memphis Is Doing Green Space Right Again

Shelby Farms Park and the Shelby Farms Greenline demonstrate a civic interest in landscape design not seen in years.
relates to Memphis Is Doing Green Space Right Again
Shelby Farms Park Conservancy

In the opening pages of his magisterial book, It Came from Memphis, historian Robert Gordon writes, “If aerial photographs could reveal energy the way infrared photographs reveal heat, Memphis would be surrounded by vectors pointing toward it.”

Gordon was nodding toward W.C. Handy, Elvis Presley, Al Green, Johnny Cash, Alex Chilton, and innumerable others who have made the city the most significant contributor to American music outside of New Orleans. Those vectors vibrate toward Memphis for other purposes as well: the design and development of urban parks.