Urban Design

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 […]

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 […]

‘Raise our expectations:’ Four takeaways from Charlotte City Council’s retreat

Charlotte faces a wide range of needs, from affordable housing to more police, bigger parks and better transit, but they all share a similar root cause: growth. That was one of the main themes at City Council’s annual planning retreat, held this week over four days in Durham at the Washington Duke Inn. There was […]

Blending the old and the new at Camp North End

The cluster of old factory buildings, warehouses, missile assembly and munition storage facilities just north of uptown have long glimmered with possibility – if you could look beyond the dingy facades and faded, rusty interiors. Now, more of that possibility is becoming a reality at Camp North End, on a nearly 80-acre triangle of land […]

2020: Four plans coming together next year will guide growth for a generation

Next year’s news cycle is already looking pretty crowded, between big-ticket events like the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, the summer Olympics in Tokyo and, of course, the 2020 presidential, gubernatorial and congressional elections. But if there weren’t so much else going on, 2020 might be known as something else in Charlotte: The Year of […]

Why isn’t Charlotte built on the water?

After visiting a city with a waterfront, maybe stopping for a drink and a bite to eat along whichever river or ocean it’s built along, I’m usually left with one overriding thought: “Wow, Charlotte could really use some of this.” Water plays a prominent role in the design and history of most cities, whether it be a river, bay or ocean. And Charlotte’s skyline and downtown sit tantalizingly close-but-yet-so-far from a major river and lake system. So, the question looms: Why isn’t Charlotte built on the water? 

Should Charlotte do more to preserve its history?

There’s been a lot of talk lately in Charlotte about the value of older buildings and what we should do to save them, spurred by the Excelsior Club’s possible sale and demolition. For a fast-growing city with leaders who have long been spurred by the promise of more development and an ever-bigger, ever-shinier skyline, it […]

Charlotte 1979: Uptown was downtown, everyone wore a tie and the city hungered for ‘world-class’ status

One of people’s favorite pastimes in fast-growing Charlotte is to look back and marvel at how much has changed in so little time. Stephen Overcash, principal at Overcash Demmitt Architects, has worked in Charlotte for 40 years, a time in which the city’s population nearly tripled, skyscrapers shot up in parking lots and downtown became […]

A rendering of the planned redevelopment of Ballantyne Corporate Park, adding apartments, shops, restaurants and amenities in place of parking lots and a golf course. Rendering: Northwood Office.

Putting the Urban in Suburban

Categories: Gallery, Mecklenburg Tags: Urban Design

Across Charlotte, developers are planning to add dense, mixed-use developments to parking lots at malls, shopping centers and office parks. See some of their plans, along with what’s there now.

How do Millennials want Charlotte to grow? #ShapeCLT has a vision.

Categories: General News Tags: PLANNING, Urban Design

Most city plans get input from residents, but if you’ve attended many city planning public meetings, you might notice the crowds tend to be a bit on the not-young side. It’s conventional wisdom that people are more likely to become interested in civic engagement when they buy property or have kids – not things many […]