Opinion

The PlanCharlotte.org Opinion page is open to a wide range of views. Opinion pieces are labeled as commentary and are the opinions of the writers, not necessarily those of PlanCharlotte.org, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute or the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A PlanCharlotte link to another website does not mean we or the university endorse the opinions expressed or take any responsibility for content on outside websites.

Want to submit? PlanCharlotte.org is open to considering content from outside writers. We require factual accuracy and civil discourse. To learn more, contact Mary Newsom, mnewsom@uncc.edu or 704-687-1203, or mail to Mary Newsom, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte NC 28223.


  • Lafayette Greens garden in Detroit donates food to Gleaners Community Food Bank of SE Michigan. Photo: Mary Newsom

    Lessons for Charlotte in Detroit?

    It is easy to forget that Detroit was a city on top of the world 50 years ago. Charlotte is not Detroit, but the recession brought a reality check. Did it bring the resolve to fight the complacency that comes with success?
  • Cyclists in Copenhagen waiting on a signal change. Image: Wikimedia Commons/Heb

    Creating a more connected Charlotte

    Could Charlotte compete with Copenhagen as the happiest and most livable city in the world? What would it take? (Image Wikimedia Commons/Heb)
  • Charlotte hits pivot point in vision for Eastland property

    The city faces important decisions about its Eastland Mall property, and the future of east Charlotte. But the city's vision could be undermined by an upcoming rezoning. Commentary. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
  • Housing on $20K a year: What Charlotte stats tell us

    It's hard to know which of the mountains of housing statistics really matter. To me, two important sets of numbers unlock the story. Commentary from Ken Szymanski. (Photo: Melissa Currie)
  • David Walters, a voice for urbanism, retires from teaching

    When you list the many people in Charlotte who've been prodding the city and region to grow in a more urban way, UNC Charlotte's David Walters should be among those at the top of that list. Next month, he'll retire from teaching. (Photo courtesy David Walters)
  • Car-free in Charlotte? It isn’t easy

    We've lived car-free in Charlotte since 2012, and it hasn't been easy, though we're saving money. Instead of "transportation choices," why don't cities adopt a bolder long-range goal: to make car-free living more than a novelty? (Photo: Claire Apaliski)
  • To stimulate airport area, invest in west Charlotte transit

    Charlotte leaders cite Crystal City, outside Washington, as a model for new development they envision west of the airport. But this vision misses what makes Crystal City work: mass transit. (Photo: Mariana Gil/EMBARQ Brasil)
  • A 'peak' of reflection

    Less than two weeks after an inspiring visit to Yosemite, I was back at Crowders Mountain State Park on the Kings Pinnacle Trail. I am grateful to have such a destination so near home, and from the top I often reflect on the rich history of the peaks and the Piedmont below. (Photo: Steve Copulsky)
  • Show up to connect our future

    Today (Oct. 24) is the last chance for members of the public in Mecklenburg County to add their voices to a series of workshops that are part of a Charlotte-region-wide effort to chart a future for ourselves. Commentary. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
  • How smart is your city, really?

    TORONTO – Maybe the game-changer is 3-D printing. Or maybe it’s “autonomous driving,” and we’ll never again have to parallel park. Maybe it’s “the Internet of everything.” In any case, it’s obvious big changes will be coming to cities worldwide. Commentary. (Photo: Niels Dejgaard)