Articles About Environment and Planning

Less than 70 miles. That’s the distance between my home in Charlotte and our place in the Uwharries. Sometimes the two feel worlds apart. Blue city, red county. Skyscrapers, silos. Congested streets, open roads. High-rise condos, low-slung ranch houses. It sometimes seems they have nothing in common. And then a rare occurrence reminds us just […]

Charlotte’s growth rests, in the end, on the people who actually build our city: The construction industry. In this episode of the “Future Charlotte” podcast, general contractor Myers & Chapman CEO Marcus Rabun talks about the near-term challenges facing the industry such as covid-19, material and labor shortages. Rabun also discusses what might be an […]

Charlotte is known for its tree canopy, and if you’ve ever flown in here or driven on streets lined with towering oaks, you know why. But that canopy is under threat, shrinking by the equivalent of three football fields a day as development spreads and iconic trees planted decades ago age and die. And the […]

After the City Council narrowly approved the 2040 plan, Charlotte leaders are turning from questions of how we grow to another key part of the city’s future: how we move around. Ambitious transit plans that call for a new sales tax funding the Silver Line east-west light rail, the stalled Red Line to the north, […]

This story is part of Transit Time, a joint production of The Charlotte Ledger, UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute, and WFAE. Learn more here, and subscribe to get weekly updates on how the Charlotte region moves. With smaller employers returning to the office and the big banks bringing most of their workers back over the next […]

Categories:General NewsTags:ENVIRONMENT

The plight of honeybees has been well documented in recent years – their steep decline due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and disease. The crisis has inspired many people to take up beekeeping in an effort to help stabilize bee populations. Even though honeybees aren’t native to the Americas – they arrived with European colonists […]

Categories:General NewsTags:Housing, PLANNING, Zoning

For something that’s supposed to be a big-picture, high-level peek at the future, the Charlotte 2040 vision plan has gotten bogged down in the details since its debut last fall. After months of tense City Council meetings, contested straw votes, community and industry groups pushing for and against the plan, and interdepartmental sniping via competing […]

With straw votes on the controversial elements and the final adoption of Charlotte’s new vision plan looming in the next month, there’s a sense that the city’s reaching a finale in the years-long process of rewriting its development rules. But adopting the vision plan might end up – surprisingly – being one of the easier […]

After 18 years as director of UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute, it’s time to move on. And it’s only appropriate that the same field that first introduced me to the institute’s work is now leading me away to a new chapter, serving as North Carolinas’ Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources. My introduction to the institute came […]

Categories:General NewsTags:ENVIRONMENT

For over a decade, readers of the Urban Institute’s weekly e-newsletter have enjoyed the nature essays of Charlotte conservationist Ruth Ann Grissom, often inspired by the habitat restoration work that she and her sister Amy Grissom have been leading in the Uwharries, about an hour east of Charlotte. Now, an international organization has taken note […]

What an amazing spring! I’ve heard that sentiment from so many people. When a Facebook friend posted a video of the glorious purple and lilac azaleas across from the post office in Mt. Gilead, scores of people responded. I always enjoy the progression of wildflowers in forests of the Uwharries and in my own backyard, […]

In the months since opposition to Charlotte’s new 2040 Comprehensive Vision Plan started building, staff and City Council have held forums, rehashed the plan in committee meetings, responded to hundreds of public comments and started tinkering with how to modify rules about what can be built where. But the heart of the matter, and the […]