Smart Growth

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, […]

Can Charlotte actually become a bike-friendly city?

Cycling advocates hope the future of Charlotte biking is on display behind a row of plastic bollards lining Sixth Street – but they caution that the city has a long way to go. The Charlotte Department of Transportation last week opened the city’s first substantial, protected, two-way bicycle lane, connecting the Little Sugar Creek Greenway […]

Building an environment for better health: Event April 8

Can the buildings, streets and sidewalks around you change your health? Richard J. Jackson thinks they can. Jackson, professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, has made the creation of healthier environments his life’s work. He’s the author of books including Urban Sprawl and Public Health, published in 2004, which examined the connections between […]

Chart Charlotte region’s progress toward CONNECT goals

After three years of citizen engagement and the creation of a Regional Growth Framework for the 14-county Charlotte region, the CONNECT Our Future initiative moves into the implementation phase, to assist local governments in their individual efforts to realize the goals and objectives of that framework. One element of the implementation phase is a collaboration […]

Region’s preferred way to grow: Save rural areas, strengthen towns

Charlotte area residents have a vision for their region’s growth. By 2050, they want to see more farms and rural areas preserved, less suburban development and more development that blends housing, stores and offices. Those are the key takeaways from nearly two years of public meetings, surveys, and work sessions, all part of the “CONNECT […]

Another step for pedestrians on one of city’s least-walkable streets

A 10-foot-wide asphalt path that officially opened Tuesday offers a glimpse of what could be a more pedestrian- and bike-oriented future for some of Charlotte’s least pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares. The path, 0.9 miles along University City Boulevard from Mallard Creek Church Road to UNC Charlotte’s main entrance at Broadrick Boulevard, is the first bike-ped trail along […]

Charlotte ranked 10th most dangerous metro for pedestrians

It’s not easy getting around the Charlotte region on foot. It can be deadly, too. The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia area ranks 10th most dangerous metro for pedestrians, according to a study, Dangerous by Design, released this week by the National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America. Last month, Smart Growth America ranked the Charlotte metro as […]

Suburbia? It’s all about status, says author Ben Ross

When you hear that a new book “opens my eyes to an entirely new way of thinking,” as “Better! Cities & Towns” editor Rob Steuteville wrote, you may want to pay attention. Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism, by Benjamin Ross (Oxford University Press, 2014) has the potential to change the […]

David Walters, a voice for urbanism, retires from teaching

When David Walters moved to Charlotte in 1990, you could pretty much fit all the people here who understood urbanism into one room. And when that happened – for instance, at the loosely organized Charlotte Urban Forum breakfast group – Walters was generally right in the thick of it. He’s been in the thick of […]

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 […]