MDN: College Students Collaborate to Bring New Green Space to Edge District

MDN: College Students Collaborate to Bring New Green Space to Edge District

Despite frigid temperatures, a crowd of people gathered Thursday evening on a small, green triangle of land in the medical district to witness the unveiling of the area’s newest public space, the Edge Triangle.

The land the Edge Triangle sits on is created by the confluence of Monroe Avenue Extended and Madison Avenue, and has largely been overlooked for years. But thanks to a partnership between the University of Memphis Design Collaborative, Memphis Medical District Collaborative, Memphis City Beautiful, Memphis College of Art and the Edge District Neighborhood Association, the small strip of green space has new life.

The reimagining of the green space is just one of many streetscape projects going on in the medical district with the intent to make the neighborhood more inviting and pedestrian-friendly.

When designing and planning the green space, Kitsinger said that his students at the U of M Design Collaborative used a process known as tactical urbanism, which involves enhancing public space through short-term design interventions.

The collaborative’s plans are to make initial temporary improvements, and then monitor them to see what works and what doesn’t.

Crooks, who is with the U of M Design Collaborative, said this particular site was chosen because other parts of the medical district had their own green spaces, but the Edge District – which is situated between the medical district and Downtown – didn’t really have anything.

The collaboration between Kitsinger’s U of M group and the Memphis College of Art, with the MMDC serving as the client, has also given students a chance to hone their design skills while making a real-world impact on the neighborhood.

“We’ve got art students working with planning students and architecture students, which is pretty cool because they can kind of learn from each other,” Kitsinger said.

Kaleob Elkins, who is a sculpting and 3-D design student at MCA, said working with urban planning and architecture students was a new experience for him.

Elkins also said that the MMDC’s bike and pedestrian-friendly improvements are great for the neighborhood.

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MDN: College Students Collaborate to Bring New Green Space to Edge District

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