The Riverfront Development Corporation was created in the year 2000 to provide stewardship and a fresh vision for the Memphis riverfront.
By the late 90s Memphis’ riverfront—once the cultural and economic hub of the MidSouth—was in desperate need of revitalization. A century of eastward expansion had estranged the people of Memphis from the energizing waters of the Mississippi River. As the new century approached, however, a cultural and economic rebirth in downtown Memphis ignited a fresh demand for places to play, relax and rejuvenate within the city’s urban core. It was at this time that the city’s leaders established a public/private partnership with a mission to connect the people of Memphis back to the Mississippi: The Riverfront Development Corporation.
In the intervening years Memphis’ riverfront has roared back to life. Today the riverfront is being utilized by residents and tourists in ways that it hasn’t since the days of the steamboat. Pedestrian walkways, bicycle trails, the revitalization and creation of new green spaces, public art projects, the construction of a world-class docking facility, and countless other enhancements have helped to, once again, make the water’s edge the heart and soul of the city and a world-class destination.
The river is life. It waters the fields that feed us; it inspires us; it strengthens our bonds. It connects us to the world, to nature and to ourselves. A resource of such importance is a part of the public trust. The Riverfront Development Corporation’s responsibility to the people of Memphis is to protect, maintain, and nurture the riverfront so that every generation has an opportunity to enjoy its riches.