Articles About Environment and Planning

I’ll never again look at a city’s Main Street the same way. In Mindy Thompson Fullilove’s newest book, Main Street: How a City’s Heart Connects Us All, she does something relatively rare for books about urban issues. Some focus on cities’ physical attributes, such as low-density single-family sprawl, building design, street grids, auto-dominated transportation, and […]

Categories:General NewsTags:Arts, Birds, ENVIRONMENT

In January, a month when birders across the state and around the world launch headlong into a rigorous endeavor called a Big Year — in which they rush around a given geographic area trying to see as many species as possible — I hunkered down in the Uwharries and became obsessed with a single species. […]

Parks in Charlotte can be a bit of a touchy subject. The system took a decade to recover funding and staffing levels after the Great Recession, and we’ve consistently placed near the bottom in national rankings for park space, spending and accessibility. So last week, Park & Recreation Director Lee Jones laid out three scenarios […]

Almost eight decades ago, Charlotte had just topped 100,000 residents, World War II raged, legal segregation was the law of the land and most of Mecklenburg County was still farmland. But despite the obvious differences from today, an urgent call in 1944 for the city to develop a plan to manage its growth still resonates […]

In addition to everything else in 2020, we had more than our fair share of rain. In fact, by early November we had already seen 53 inches of rain in the Triad region of North Carolina, which is well over a foot above our normal rain level for an average year. Charlotte received almost 59 […]

The end of the year is a natural time for reflection, but does anyone really want to dwell on 2020? I imagine we’re all yearning for the chance to move forward, to put that dreadful year behind us, make a fresh start and take charge of our lives. In 2021, my resolution is to keep […]

If we’re being completely honest, those of us who sat down this year to write traditional end-of-year reflections struggled to find something positive to say. I certainly did. Whether an organizational newsletter or a family’s holiday greeting card, it seemed the best one could say about 2020 is that it’s finally over. However, as I […]

Imagine what it would be like to help establish a brand new national park. One that would be larger than the combined acreage of the Everglades, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Teton, Canyonlands, Mount Ranier, North Cascades, Badlands, Olympic, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, Denali and Great Smoky Mountains. One that would be spread uniformly across the country instead […]

My sister and I once decided it would be a fine idea to tour the Mojave Desert in May. Being hard-headed women from the Uwharries, we forged ahead even after the Santa Ana winds kicked up and pushed temperatures into triple digits. The heat made for a memorable, if sometimes freakish, trip. Along the way, […]

As Charlotte continues its quest to become a more urban and cosmopolitan city, is it possible that the small towns and former mill villages dotting the land around Charlotte have something to teach us about how to solve some of the biggest and most pressing needs facing our big cities and suburbs today? Bill Fulton, […]

It probably wasn’t the setting Charlotte planners would have picked to unveil their vision for the future: A parking lot off Independence Boulevard, acres of scarred asphalt surrounded by a tangle of some of the city’s least pedestrian-friendly streets. But in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, an in-person event at a densely packed brewery […]

“Not many events inspire our historical imagination and force us to critically think about our past the way a falling monument does.” Associate Professor of Sculpture Marek Ranis, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain in communist Poland, has seen monuments go up and come down in countries like his homeland. But the intense evaluation […]