Jim Matthews, a retired UNC Charlotte biology professor, is a botanist whose mission is to collect and catalog the plants of the 15-county region of the North Carolina Piedmont, preserving a record of what we have, before it’s lost to development.
As the Dec. 31 end of a 30-year-old N.C. land preservation tax credit nears, regional land trusts scurry to finish preservation projects from donors hoping to use the credit before they lose it. (Photo: Catawba Lands Conservancy)
You’d think I would have known better. I’ve been writing about growth since before they called it Smart Growth. That’s why last week’s regional planning exercise made for an eye-opening glimpse of the real world. (Photo: Melissa Currie)
The Charlotte region boasts abundant farmland and an increasing number of residents hungry for locally grown food. So why does so much of food come from thousands of miles away?
This article was written for the institute's newest online communication page, http://PlanCharlotte.org. We hope you'll visit PlanCharlotte for more news, information and analysis about how our region is growing.
A new, grant-funded initiative, the Piedmont Crescent Partnership, aims to bring together residents and officials from that broad Piedmont area to address shared issues and maybe help the region’s leaders more often speak with one voice on matters such as transportation, economic development and growth.
A Faison subdivision off Beatties Ford Road and Abersham near Davidson were purchased by Mecklenburg County for parks, after the developments stalled. But generally, the region's land conservationists lack money to protect tantalizing properties available after the financial crash.
Despite lines on maps carving out city limits and voting districts and state borders, in the real world of air and water, of urban transportation and economies, city regions function in ways our political systems may not recognize. This is the case in Charlotte and pretty much across the United States.
But is it possible to get around that problem and create meaningful ways to look at city regions as they truly are – regions? Last week I spent several days chewing over that question with more than two dozen business and nonprofit leaders, academics, writers and former mayors.