A glimpse at Charlotte’s future from a piece of the past

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 […]

Keeping the conversation about public space alive past coronavirus

Projects that usually take years are happening in weeks during the coronavirus pandemic: Cities are closing streets to cars, opening public space for sidewalk cafes and investing more in pop-up parks and outdoor amenities. Planners are responding to a desperate desire for more public, outdoor space, as restaurants, gyms, bars, concert venues, offices, schools and […]

Social distancing in nature

After weighing the pros and cons of taking groceries to elderly parents; after assessing the risk of exposing them to coronavirus while driving them to the doctor; after worrying about friends who are sick in New York City, those who are considered essential workers and those who are now unemployed; after obsessively wiping surfaces with […]

Enjoy hiking? You should help build a trail

Most people who hike trails don’t take time to think about who makes and maintains paths through the woods. In the Uwharries, as in most recreational areas, most trail-building is done by dedicated volunteers. The Uwharrie Trailblazers club hits the trails every second Saturday of the month to help maintain and establish trails in Randolph […]

Mapping out Charlotte’s future: Streets plan accounts for more than cars

Charlotte planners are trying to change the city’s decades-long focus on building streets solely for cars with an effort to map and plan for future bicycle lanes, expanded sidewalks and more accommodations for alternative ways of getting around like scooters. The first phase of that effort — mapping and planning for the streets along the […]

Forging connections across the Carolinas – one greenway, trail and waterway at a time

Nestled off a quiet street of attractive suburban homes in Waxhaw, there’s a quarter-mile trail in the woods along the Twelve Mile Creek. Near the end of a stone stairway is a striking sight: A 160-foot suspension bridge connecting Waxhaw, North Carolina, and Indian Trail, South Carolina. You can embrace the bridge’s wobbles during the […]

Preserving rare plants: In search of Heller’s blazing star

How do you protect a plant that grows only on rocky outcrops at high elevations in the Amphibolite Mountains of northwestern North Carolina? It takes a team.

Here’s what Charlotte really, really needs from its 2040 plan

What does Charlotte really, really need from its 2040 comprehensive plan? That’s what we asked a dozen community leaders from different walks of life: Architects and planners, developers and brokers, activists and academics. The Charlotte Future 2040 plan is meant to be, well, comprehensive, covering everything from growth, new construction and zoning regulations to parks, […]

Mecklenburg parks could get a big spending boost

Mecklenburg County is poised to substantially increase funding for its park system, after years of stagnating budgets and staff cuts following the 2008 recession. County manager Dena Diorio’s proposed budget, released last week, includes a nearly $13 million boost to the Park and Recreation Department. That increase – almost one-third higher than current spending – […]