Memphis has more than 40,000 abandoned properties. Some call it blight, while others call it a missed opportunity.
While there’s no shortage of blight in Memphis, there’s no shortage of passion or commitment to fight it here, either.
According to a recent analysis by Innovate Memphis, the residential area around Lincoln Elementary School in South Memphis (near the intersection of South Parkway and Lauderdale Street) is approximately three-quarters blighted. No one should live like this — certainly not in Memphis, known as one of the nation’s most generous cities. Sadly, many of our citizens do, including thousands of our children.
Three doors down, a leaf blower whines in the cool of a clear January afternoon.
Its operator wears a orange bandana over his mouth and nose to keep out the dust and leaves that billow around his stocky frame and the trim, neat single-story cottage the man apparently calls home. White bags stuffed with leaves are stacked in a row near the edge of the lawn, now trim and neat enough to match the house.