One of Charlotte's quintessential suburban communities has big plans to transform itself into a dense, walkable, mixed-use center. Greenways, sidewalks, protected bike lanes and transit would replace the car-choked expressways and huge parking lots that dominate the auto-centric area now.
We're not talking about Ballantyne or SouthPark. Leaders in University City — Charlotte's second-largest employment district and youngest neighborhood — are betting they can take a part of the city that developed in the heyday of the car and turn it into a walkable neighborhood.
Tobe Holmes, interim executive director of University City Partners, joins the Future Charlotte podcast to talk about how they're reorienting development away from the suburban patterns that have long defined the area, how University City is establishing an identity in a place that's long seemed like a somewhat anonymous collection of office parks and houses, and the challenges of reengineering a road network over which the city has only limited control.
A rendering of the proposed new town center for University City, from the University City Partners vision plan.