City leaders want Memphis to be top 'Aerotropolis' - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City leaders want Memphis to be top 'Aerotropolis'

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(WMC-TV) - Several cities across America are in a race to become North America's top Aerotropolis. City leader believe Memphis is fairing well in the competition for federal dollars.

"'Aero' means 'air,' and 'tropolis,' like Metropolis in Superman, means 'city' so in essence, it's 'Airport City,'" said Aerotropolis Project Manager Chad Bowman.

Bowman hopes that the definition will become second nature to all Mid-Southerners.

The Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development is using a federal grant to lay out a plan that will impact the entire area.

"Extends out 50 square miles around the airport and then extends 25 miles into the region impacting North Mississippi, west Arkansas as well as Shelby County and the Memphis area," said Bowman. 

Bowman describes that the Aerotropolis would hinge on the connectivity of airport area retail, office space, and residential communities.

"One idea is we might try to create a business cluster for biolife sciences and perhaps put that near the airport for industries interested in moving their specimens, serums and tests to the airport," he said. 

Strategists have identified nine areas of focus to bring the area up to speed:
  • Improved Public Safety
  • Identifying Vertical Business Clusters
  • Land Acquisition/Assembly/Investment
  • Neighborhood Based Mixed Use Clusters
  • Connections to Rivers and Waterways
  • Renewables and Agribusiness
  • Transportation and Corridor Strategies
  • Continuing Education
  • Branding and Marketing
With FedEx in the Bluff City, Memphis leaders think this city is best positioned to beat out the others for federal dollars.

"It's a great opportunity for us to capitalize on the area around our airport and focus on the fact that we're a logistics and distribution center," said Bowman.

The Aerotropolis Public Meeting is Thursday March 21 at White Haven High School from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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