Thanks for proposing this great idea! Have you been in touch with your City Forester about this idea?
With the revitalization efforts underway at Overton Square, the quality of the streetscape from Madison to Union will likely be addressed. Playhouse has some sprig saplings out in front for dressing that need a good decade to mature.
You are right that the jump from Union to Peabody Park at Central Avenue is pretty bleak inasfaras shade though promises to be a key N/S route through Midtown connecting Cooper-Young to Overton Square.
The Cooper-Young Business Association, south of Central to Southern, planted ginko trees back in the late 80s/90s, they're "the wrong species" and litter the sidewalk with their pungent fruit.
I don't believe that the 'Union to Central' stretch of Cooper Street has a defined professional business association-- I could be wrong, but this seems to be the first step in as far as planning for a streetscape canopy. Keep in mind that sidewalk clearance for wheelchair/pedestrian use is key & come before trees & shade.
Thanks for dropping the knowledge Seamus, great intel. Did something happen in CY (weather event, etc?). When I was in Memphis a couple weeks ago, I noticed a real need for shade (and crosswalks!) between Peabody Park and Union.
Don, what neighborhood do you live in? Central Gardens is a shining example of coordinated tree-planting. Cooper-Young, you'd think would at least be more aspirational than they are- Horror at the recent tree loss, in the last year, I count at least a half dozen century-old beauties that have met their chipper.