2020 Vision

Here’s what the next 20 years could hold for uptown Charlotte

A new “Central Park” for Charlotte. A Tryon Street that prioritizes pedestrians over cars. A new neighborhood built around the Carolina Panthers’ stadium, and the burial — or even total elimination — of I-277. These are some of the big ideas planners are batting around as they work on the new Center City Vision Plan, […]

Imagining a trail of parks through South End

Fact No. 1: A sidewalk runs beside the light rail tracks through South End, from Morehead Street to a little north of the Scaleybark Station. Fact. No. 2: South End, which grew up from what had been an industrial sector of the city (nearby Dilworth and Wilmore neighborhoods notwithstanding), does not have a park. Add […]

Stadium could be spectacular city amenity

A new Charlotte Knights stadium uptown will be a catalyst for urban development, add to the character of the cityscape and let families and friends savor a spectacular skyline view while enjoying America’s pastime. An analysis of multiple potential sites, plus interviews with more than 100 civic leaders and stakeholders all produced this conclusion: The […]

Don’t squander chance for a great public park

This article opposes plans to build a new ballpark for the Charlotte Knights uptown. Read architect Marley Carroll’s article supporting the idea here. Missing from recent discussions about granting more public money for a privately developed baseball park in Third Ward is any talk about the potential advantages of using the land for public purposes […]

Pro / Con: Build uptown ballpark – no, don’t!

Does uptown Charlotte need a baseball stadium, or a large public park dedicated to showcase energy technology and local food? Two well-known Charlotte architects – Marley Carroll and Murray Whisnant – take different stands. • Spectacular amenity / Marley Carroll • Don’t squander chance / Murray Whisnant The Charlotte City Council is expected to vote […]

Charlotte rolls toward N.C.’s first bike-share system

Proponents of bicycle sharing are striving to launch the state’s first system in and near uptown Charlotte as soon as this summer. The system would give paying members access to a fleet of 200 high-tech bikes secured at a network of 20 stations in and around uptown. Bike sharing began in Europe in the 1960s, […]

At long last, a new park uptown

It took years, multiple political strategies, a bond vote, patience, weathering a brutal and ongoing economic downturn, more patience, and – finally – a multimedia event under a tent on a hot asphalt parking lot. But last Friday, ground was broken for a new park in uptown Charlotte: Romare Bearden Park. It’s notable for many […]

Much to admire in plan, but it missed an opportunity

Just for fun, before watching Monday night’s Charlotte City Council hearing on the newest plan for downtown Charlotte, I hauled out my yellowing copy of the 1966 Odell Plan. (See original drawings from the plan here.) It’s both fun and humbling to see how stunningly wrong that plan was about so much. Then I thumbed […]

Failure of nerve: Bolder vision needed for an uncertain future

Charlotte’s draft 2020 Vision Plan is a disappointing document. Despite the hard work, the glossy graphics are mostly pretty pictures of conventional thinking rather than visions for a different future. A plan promoted as visionary should acknowledge that urgent environmental and economic forces demand challenging changes to the status quo, and then propose far-reaching and […]