Citizen Participation

Show up to connect our future

If you’ve been paying any attention to national politics in recent weeks, you’ve surely heard remarks like: Why don’t politicians listen to the people? How can we get through to them? Why can’t government get anything done? But when people say “the government,” what government do they mean? It’s likely they’re thinking of the sclerotic […]

Charlotte-area residents invited to chart the region’s future

Charlotte-area residents will have an additional opportunity to voice their opinion on the region’s growth. The Centralina Council of Governments added a fourth Mecklenburg County workshop, and a second location, to the “CONNECT Our Future” planning program at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park. The public workshop is one of […]

Connect your neighborhood with a digital makeover

Does your neighborhood need help creating a website, using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, learning how to send text message alerts or any other digital communications? If so, you might want to take a look at the digital communications workshop Queens University is offering, in partnership with the City of Charlotte. The […]

Your chance to help clean Mecklenburg creeks

Residents can help improve area water quality by picking up trash from local streams on Saturday during Mecklenburg County’s annual creek clean-up, Big Sweep. To register, click here. The Big Sweep will take place at six sites, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers can walk alongside or, if they’re adventurous, wade into local streams […]

Worried about area’s growth? Here’s how to have your say

Charlotte area planning and sustainability enthusiasts can have their say about the future of the region in coming weeks by taking part in two long-range regional planning efforts. In Mecklenburg County, volunteers are being sought to help draft the Mecklenburg Livable Communities Plan. Mecklenburg County residents can apply to participate in a work group through […]

Learning, again, why plans sometimes fail

You’d think I would have known better. After all, I’ve been writing about growth since before they called it Smart Growth, and I’m still writing about it now that it’s “resiliency,” or “sustainable growth” or whatever the next term is. I can’t count how many times I’ve explained that when you decide where you want […]

A game of homes (and jobs, farms and more)

“Smart Growth was an intellectual fetish of a self-selected liberal Eastern elite.” Robert J. Grow, president and CEO of Envision Utah, a public-private collaboration in the Salt Lake City region, told about 400 Charlotte region residents that his Western region calls what it does “quality growth.” “It was our growth,” he said. “It was our […]

Charlotte region full of great places

Concord’s Union Street, downtown Belmont and Charlotte’s First Ward and Plaza Midwood neighborhoods have all been nominated for “People’s Choice” awards in this year’s “Great Places in North Carolina” contest. North Carolinians are being asked to vote. Polls are open until March 15. North Carolina residents can vote online by going to At that […]

HOT lanes: A hot topic at Huntersville meeting

HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes proposed on I-77 are a red-hot topic, and residents were vocal about their concerns Wednesday at a public information meeting at Huntersville Town Hall. Jim Trogdon, chief financial officer for the N.C. Department of Transportation, introduced a group of experts to meet with citizens and answer questions. “The existing revenue […]

Charlotte neighborhoods sow green vision

When Allen Nelson moved to Charlotte’s Commonwealth-Morningside neighborhood in 2007, he was drawn to the area’s bungalow-style homes, the graceful, mature shade trees and the tucked-away location so close to downtown. But in Nelson’s view, Commonwealth has some of the same problems of many Charlotte neighborhoods – overflowing trash bins, energy-leaking older homes, a scattershot […]