Planning & design

Survey offers guidance for biking equity in Charlotte

Bike rider amid the trees at Toby Creek Greenway through the UNC Charlotte campus. Photo: Nancy Pierce When more people bicycle, we all win – even those who never ride. Diving into the results from a Charlotte bicycling survey offers clues to some existing inequities. Commentary.

Raised in Charlotte, he now runs the planning show in Atlanta

Atlanta skyline. Photo: David Hunter [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons] Charlotte for years has had a love-hate view of Atlanta, envying its vigor but not its sprawl and traffic congestion. Last year a Charlottean became Atlanta’s planning director. Tim Keane grew up in Charlotte and went on to be planning director in Davidson, and Charleston. In this interview he offers his thoughts on Charlotte, Charleston and Atlanta.

Planners want public opinions on city places, land use

Image from a city presentation details how zoning and development requirements can help make a place welcoming - or not. Image: City of Charlotte How can Charlotte rework its zoning and development ordinances so they produce the kind of places that plans – and residents – say they prefer? Planners want to hear from you.

Can Charlotte learn these lessons in time to save lower South End?

A refurbished corner store building in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: David Walters Can lower South End survive the large-scale cookie-cutter development now ravaging South End and NoDa? David Walters offers a way forward, based on lessons from Des Moines. Yes, Des Moines. Commentary.

How to safeguard Charlotte’s trees? Plan aims to support the canopy

Gingko trees in uptown Charlotte. Photo: Nancy Pierce Charlotte's tree canopy faces serious long-term threats. An urban forestry management plan in the works would encourage more public involvement and education.

An ’80s tale: How rural preservation didn’t happen

Pond in west Mecklenburg, owned by Sue Friday. Photo: Mary Newsom Decisions made decades ago ensured that almost all of Mecklenburg County would be open to development. 

Feds want metro transportation planning less fractured. Good luck with that.

I-77 traffic. Photo: Nancy Pierce Transportation planning in the greater Charlotte region is split among five planning groups. Will a federal push to consolidate make a difference?

Speeding suburbanization south of Charlotte – what's a planner to do?

Lancaster County, S.C., Planning Director Penelope G. Karagounis at the Red Ventures campus in Indian Land. Photo: Mary Newsom Read the interview or listen to the podcast: Charlotte may be fast-growing but growth rates in nearby Lancaster County. S.C., are through the roof. We talk with Lancaster County Planning Director Penelope G. Karagounis about the influx of suburban spillover development. 

Architects v. urban designers: At cross-purposes?

Award-winning architect Zaha Hadid's Library and Learning Center, left, at Vienna University of Economics and Business in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Peter Haas / CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons What would you tell architects that they need to understand about cities? Commentary.