The Concept describes how six miles of Memphis' Mississippi riverfront can become a signature network of spaces and opportunities, tied into the city and its assets, that benefits the entire community. It shows how five zones can leverage their strengths to become distinctive places offering activities and experiences that appeal to people of all generations, incomes, races, and backgrounds. Three design principles underlie the Concept's recommendations: Foster positive encounters, civic pride and identity, and a new understanding of the Mississippi River; Restore natural conditions, native ecology, and a more dynamic relationship between people and the river; and Connect assets along the river, the riverfront to the city, and people with each other. The Concept's interventions are designed as a series of short-, medium-, and long-term investments that add up over time according to available funding and interest, demonstrating how a renewed riverfront can be inclusive and inspiring but actionable and realistic as well.
At the Fourth Bluff, an uninviting hardscape and scattered green spaces become a unified civic terrace: a shady grove, planted by the community, and a vibrant public bluff walk woven with new places to eat, shop, play, and enjoy river views. At Mud Island, a hard-to-access peninsula with dispersed cultural assets becomes a connected eco hub where freshwater science education and innovation thrive through institutional partnerships. At Tom Lee Park, a flat field becomes a dynamic, vibrant terrain where new topography shapes many exciting recreational opportunities and offers multiple ways to enjoy the Mississippi. The historic MLK Park is reactivated with new connections, a softer water's edge, and structures that support festivals and community gatherings year-round. And at Greenbelt Park, flat paths troubled by fluctuating water become an engaging environment where multi-level trails, public arts, and a lookout tower amplify the experience of its rich ecology.