Has Charlotte shifted toward welcoming cyclists, pedestrians?

It’s been only six weeks since globe-trotting “complete streets” advocate Gil Penalosa deplaned in Charlotte in October, wearing a slightly rumpled suit and armed with little more than a flash drive and a 500-slide PowerPoint. But what a week it was. By the end, I had a sense—no proof of course, but an intuition—that an […]

Six ways to turn SouthPark into a great urban neighborhood

Density alone does not equate to good urbanism. Density is a necessary ingredient, but raw density of jobs, housing or retail does not create a great street, much less a great place. Parts of downtown Atlanta are a classic example of this. Those tall towers empty at 5 p.m., creating an employment ghetto in the […]

City’s Charlotte WALKS initiative aims to improve walkability

Since the late 1990s, Charlotte has experienced a major policy shift toward creating more walkable streets. The evidence is seen in infrastructure investments that are making Charlotte a better place to walk. Yet the city still faces significant challenges: a legacy of our decades of auto-oriented development. On Monday, I gave a presentation to the […]

Charlotte eyes stronger pedestrian policies

Charlotte’s transportation department is launching – again – an initiative to highlight pedestrian needs and improve policies for walkability. The new energy comes after the city landed on some not-so-flattering lists in the past year. In May, the Dangerous by Design report from the National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America ranked the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia […]

Charlotte leaders head to Copenhagen

How did Copenhagen become an international model of urbanism? Four leaders from Charlotte and Mecklenburg County government, philanthropy and real estate will find out next month on a six-day study trip. Brian Collier from the Foundation For The Carolinas, Assistant Mecklenburg County Manager Leslie Johnson, at-large City Council member Vi Lyles and Crescent Communities CEO […]

For a greener, cleaner Charlotte, look to Sweden’s example

Malmö, Sweden, may seem a lot farther away than Minneapolis, where a local delegation of Charlotte Chamber and other civic leaders recently visited to get ideas for urban development, but in today’s global culture, it is much closer than one might think. I spent a memorable week there during an 18-day study tour, exploring five […]