Open Space

Here’s what it would take for our park system to reach ‘the Disney model’

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 […]

Introducing ‘Future Charlotte,’ a podcast about our city’s growth

Charlotte is a city with growth embedded in its DNA, a community where striving to be “world-class” has both propelled us forward and papered over many disparities just beneath the surface. And Charlotte’s growth shows no signs of slowing down. With a host of plans coming together in 2021 that will set the city’s path […]

Charlotte’s losing its green canopy, despite efforts to save trees

Charlotte is losing over three football fields a day worth of trees. That’s the sobering conclusion of a study by the University of Vermont in collaboration with TreesCharlotte, detailing how development, age, storms and other factors have cut down Charlotte’s tree canopy. The percentage of Charlotte covered by tree canopy fell from 49% to 45% […]

The pandemic is an opportunity for investing in our community

Stephen Grotz is a Master of Architecture student at UNC Charlotte who conducts research in the City.Building.Lab. under the direction of Nadia Anderson. As the world sinks towards an unprecedented depression, now is the time to invest. The demand for the most valuable commodity in the world — human ingenuity — has not been this […]

Inequalities in Charlotte: Coronavirus shines a spotlight

As unemployment rises and schools remain closed, the coronavirus crisis is highlighting some of the many inequalities in the Charlotte region. Those problems go beyond the ones we’re familiar with, such as income inequality and patterns of segregation. They point to deeply embedded inequalities in how we’ve built our city and our region, as well […]

Putting a ‘there’ there: Placemaking aims to boost overlooked areas

A vacant park in a bustling downtown. A waterside bandshell and lawn that sit empty most days of the year. A busy intersection thousands of people drive through every day without a pause. In a fast-growing city that lacks parks and other public gathering spaces, planners are looking at ways to make these places into […]

Here are the five best springtime Uwharries hikes

Cold and wintry weather have (finally) settled in, but spring will be upon us before you know it. In honor of the soon-to-be warmer weather, here are some of my favorite hikes for springtime in the Uwharries, east of Charlotte. There are lots of great places there to hike any time of year, but these […]

What’s on our city’s wish list? See some gifts for Charlotte

It’s hard shopping for the city that has it all: Gleaming office towers, a new-ish light rail line, a booming population and one of the world’s busiest airports. But that doesn’t mean Charlotte couldn’t still use a few gifts this holiday season. After all, despite the city’s obvious and explosive growth, there are still plenty […]

How our changing landscape sustains us all

Ecosystems such as forests and wetlands provide clean air and water, food, building materials and recreational opportunities. The benefits people receive from nature are referred to as “ecosystem services.” Our interactions with ecosystems can have a positive impact, boosting our health and the economy. We can also have a negative impact on the health and […]

Cramerton takes pride in its history of producing "Army khaki" for U.S. military uniforms during World War II. Photo: Nancy Pierce.

Transforming the South Fork of the Catawba River and its towns

Categories: Gallery, Gaston Tags: Habitat, Nature, Open Space, River

Cramerton has turned to the South Fork of the Catawba River, which once powered mills and was known as a hotbed of pollution, to help power the town’s revival in the wake of the textile industry.