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

Feds want metro transportation planning less fractured. Good luck with that.

Transportation planning in the greater Charlotte region is split among five planning groups. Will a federal push to consolidate make a difference?

TreesCharlotte summit focuses on city tree canopy

Concerned about Charlotte’s tree canopy? The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the nonprofit TreesCharlotte are sponsoring an Urban Forestry Summit on Sept. 20. The event is free and open to the...

Speeding suburbanization south of Charlotte – what's a planner to do?

Read the interview or listen to the podcast: Charlotte may be fast-growing but growth rates in nearby Lancaster County. S.C., are through the roof. We talk with Lancaster County Planning Director...

Who’s moving in? Out? Symposium takes a look

Many parts of the Carolinas, including the Charlotte region, are seeing a huge influx of newcomers. Who’s moving in, and from where? An Oct. 26 symposium will look at new census data on population...

Talking with Owen Furuseth: Farms, neighborhoods and immigration

Podcast and Q/A interview: Owen Furuseth, retired UNC Charlotte associate provost for Metropolitan Studies, researched open space preservation, neighborhoods and immigration. He talks with...