Mary Newsom


Mary is a lifelong newspaper journalist who spent several decades at The Charlotte Observer as an editorial board member and columnist, concentrating on Charlotte regional urban and suburban growth, planning, urban design, transportation and land preservation. She left the Observer and joined the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute in 2011. She had a year-long Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University 2007-08, and in 2005-06 was a Knight Fellow in Community Building at the University of Miami. Newsom retired from the insitute in 2018 as Director of Urban Policy Initiatives, and is now a freelance writer in Charlotte. 


A.B. Journalism UNC Chapel Hill


Urban and suburban issues, Charlotte region and North Carolina politics and government, writing, editing and journalism.

Stories by Mary Newsom

Final City Walks this weekend: Retro Uptown and Rail Trail Slow Ride

Meet your neighbors, learn your city and hear stories of Charlotte neighborhoods. City Walks’ final weekend offers a Retro Uptown walk and a Rail Trail Slow Ride.

Bicycling in the city gets two big pushes

Two new, high-visibility bicycling campaigns rolled out this week, each an attempt to get more Charlotteans riding—and with more support from the city. The most obvious will be an Open...

A walkable SouthPark? UNCC students offer their vision

Could Charlotte’s SouthPark mall area grow into a place of city-style rather than suburban-style neighborhoods? UNC Charlotte graduate students envision a different look for the area.

What our readers liked best in 2015

As we look back at 2015, we have assembled some of the most-read PlanCharlotte articles from the year. If you missed them the first time around, here’s another chance to read them.

Our most-read articles from 2015

For a look back at 2015, we assembled the best-read articles from the year from the institute’s online publications. If you missed them the first time, here’s another chance to read them. Listed...