The Mississippi River

Myles Franklin | May 27, 2021

The Mississippi River is the heart and soul of Memphis. The city was originally built alongside the eastern bank of the river because the river allowed for easy water transportation when shipping cotton and other goods, and the downtown area remains in close proximity to the river today. Most of the buildings in Downtown Memphis are on the upper parts of the river banks or high hills to prevent flooding. For example, some of the closest buildings to the river are a row of houses that sit on a high hill overlooking the river bank to prevent flooding. The way that the Mississippi River shapes the development of Memphis is similar to development in the Netherlands. Most cities in the Netherlands are built on dikes, which have higher altitudes than the sea level to prevent flooding.

People enjoy looking at the river and feeling its energy, so the river serves as a natural amenity to city. Recently, multiple high-rise luxury apartments have been built overlooking the river. The river has also allowed the city to build artificial island in the river to encompass neighborhood, such as Harbor Town. The river naturally attract real estate development to it because people want to see and be near the river.

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