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About Soulsville
Soulsville Anchors List.PNG

Located within the Memphis 3.0 South Planning District, Soulsville encompasses three anchors: Mississippi Blvd. and Walker Ave., Walker Ave. and Neptune St., and the Soulsville anchor, which includes the Stax Music Academy and museum. Celebrated for its rich African American heritage, the neighborhood is home to institutions like LeMoyne-Owen College and notable businesses such as People’s Grocery Store and The Four Way Restaurant. Despite the challenges of Jim Crow laws, the community thrived economically through a network of African American-owned enterprises. Beyond its musical legacy, Soulsville boasts a significant civil rights history and a commitment to education, with renowned figures like Rev. James Lawson and Ida B. Wells. Anchored by these key locations, the area aims for incremental improvements supported by public and philanthropic investment to stabilize and revitalize the community while leveraging its heritage for sustainable growth.

Soulsville Small Area Plan

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During the Small Area Planning Process, community engagement was crucial to the ideation of design concepts and recommendations for neighborhood improvements and development. The Division of Planning and Development (DPD) partnered with Opticos Design to create a vision for each of the anchor-focused Small Area Plans. After several meetings with community members and other interested parties Opticos Design, DPD, and stakeholders compiled suggestions to create plans for anchor and neighborhood revitalization.

Accelerate Memphis Projects

McLemore Bio-Swale Project



We are thrilled to announce the installation of a new environmentally friendly initiative, the installation of a Bioswale outside Stax Music Academy on McLemore Avenue. 

What is a Bioswale?

A bioswale is a type of green infrastructure designed to filter pollutants and debris from our stormwater. After it rains, part of the stormwater runs along the street surface and into the bioswale. It might look like simple planted areas on top, but this infrastructure contains several layers to keep our water clean before it goes into the ground and into our streams and rivers, such as the Wolf River and Mississippi River. 

Why create a Bioswale?

The Memphis 3.0 Comprehensive plan identifies green infrastructure as a priority for the City of Memphis. Our drinking water comes from an underground aquifer, so, preventing pollution of our underground drinking water source is key to two of the goals of Memphis 3.0: Sustainable and Resilient Communities, and High Performing Infrastructure. 

Key Features of the Bioswale:

  1. Stormwater Management: Our bioswale is strategically designed to capture and filter stormwater runoff, helping to reduce the impact on our local drainage system and preventing pollution in nearby water bodies.

  2. Native Plant Selection: We have carefully chosen a variety of native plants to populate the bioswale. These plants not only contribute to the aesthetics of our community but also support our local wildlife and insects by offering food and shelter.

More Information on Bio-Swales

A video on how bio-swales work at Antioch Middle School in Nashville, TN. 

A video on bio-swales functioning during a rainstorm in Indianapolis, Indiana. 


Memphis will be a city that anchors growth on strengths of the core and neighborhoods; a city of greater connectivity and access; a city of opportunity for all. Learn more about us.

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Division of Planning & Development

Comprehensive Planning

125 N Main Street, Ste 468


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