Discover Charlotte’s neighborhood stories

Discover your city with City Walks 2017

The group who took part in the 2016 walk through the Belmont neighborhood.

Burrow into the past in Charlotte’s Belmont neighborhood. Or meander through McCrorey Heights and the area near Johnson C. Smith University. Learn the stories buried in Elmwood/Pinewood cemetery in uptown Charlotte. Those are a few of the dozen or so 2017 City Walks being planned for May.

Or plan your own City Walk.

Scroll below for list of 2017 City Walks

Read about 2016 City Walks

City Walks are free, public walking tours throughout May that highlight the variety of neighborhoods in our city. They’re intended to inspire participants to get better acquainted with their own neighborhoods or to learn about parts of the city they don’t know well. PlanCharlotte, a publication of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, organizes City Walks with assistance from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, janeswalk.org  and local partnerships.

To date 12 walks are planned for May 2017, but we expect to add more to this list in coming weeks. So please check back often to see what’s in the works.

Click here to RSVP to attend a walk

Jane Jacobs advocated for neighborhoods to stand up for their own best interests.

IS THIS JUST A CHARLOTTE THING?

City Walks are part of a national and global celebration – known in many cities as Jane Jacobs Walks or Jane's Walks – of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs, a famous neighborhood champion who lived in New York and later in Toronto. Born on May 4, 1916, Jane Jacobs was a writer, activist and urban thinker who championed a community-based approach to city building, based on what she observed taking place in her neighborhood, Greenwich Village. She saw cities as ecosystems that had their own logic and dynamism which would change over time according to how they were used. She promoted higher density in cities, short blocks, local economies and mixed uses.

Scorned at the time – the 1960s – by many professional planners, architects and city officials, Jacobs’ books and ideas are now routinely taught in planning and architecture schools.

The walks take place around the world during the first weekend in May, to honor her birthday, but in Charlotte they happen throughout the month of May.

WANT A HAND PLANNING A WALK IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?

Anyone can plan a City Walk. You don’t have to be a historian or a professor or a professional organizer. The idea is to encourage residents to get engaged and organizing walks for their neighbors and neighborhood.

Contact us for assistance. We can help with planning, research and publicity, or give you an experienced walk “mentor” to work with you. Contact:

The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, where PlanCharlotte.org is produced, is organizer for City Walks 2017 in Charlotte, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

A group enjoys the munching at a 2015 Munching Tour, with Tom Hanchett, at La Shish Kabob in east Charlotte.

SCHEDULED 2017 WALKS

(Registration is requested but not required for all walks, except the two Munching Tours require registration.)

East Charlotte Munching Tour

When: Monday, May 1, 4:30-7 p.m. (See below for a second Munching Tour on May 16.)

What: From Ethiopia to Nepal to Jerusalem to Syria on a single suburban block. This is the sixth year for our most popular City Walk. Hosted by Tom Hanchett, the local historian and Charlotte Observer “Food From Home” columnist. This walk is limited to 15 attendees so registration is required to reserve your spot. RSVP at the link above. The walk is free to attend but please bring about $20 in cash to pay for any food you want to eat.  

Where: The group will meet at 3113 N. Sharon Amity Road in front of the Nile Grocery.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and seniors.

Parking: Parking is available in the lot at 3113 N. Sharon Amity.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, bus 17 from the Charlotte Transportation Center uptown travels through Plaza Midwood on Central and Commonwealth avenues, and stops a two-minute walk from 3113 N. Sharon Amity. See more at ridetransit.org.


A Walk on the West Side: Irwin Creek Greenway through Clanton Park and Revolution Park

When: Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m.

What: Join Revolution Park community leader John Howard for a walking tour highlighting three west side neighborhoods and the contiguous system of public spaces linked by bike routes and a greenway. The walk will begin at the Dorothy Waddy Pavilion and end at Revolution Park Sports Academy. It will highlight community landmarks such as a community garden, influential community members, and discuss how the original community was developed from the 1920s through the 1960s.

Where: The group will meet at the Dorothy Waddy Pavilion, 3132 Manchester Drive, in the Clanton Park neighborhood.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors, and children.

Parking: Parking is available at the Dorothy Waddy Pavilion.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, bus 16 from the Charlotte Transportation Center uptown travels down South Tryon Street, then through Wilmore on West Boulevard, then runs along Barringer Drive. Get out at Manchester Drive and Graymont Drive and walk about a minute. See more at ridetransit.org.


History Walk: NoDa Neighborhood

When: Saturday, May 6, 10:30 a.m.; a second walk will begin at 11 a.m.

Details on this walk will be added soon.

This walk is co-sponsored with the Charlotte Museum of History and the NoDa Neighborhood Association.


History Walk: Belmont Neighborhood

When: Saturday, May 6, 2 p.m.

Details on this walk will be added soon.

This walk is co-sponsored with the Charlotte Museum of History and the Belmont Neighborhood Association.


Plaza Midwood Ramble

When: Sunday, May 7, 1:30-2:30pm

What: Wander through Plaza Midwood, a Charlotte neighborhood steeped with history, with community historian Tom Hanchett. Learn the history of the Plaza Midwood business district and meet some of its denizens – including the shopkeeper restoring a 1942 airplane inside his store. This walking tour is in conjunction with OpenStreets704, an event that will closes some streets to vehicle traffic to allow walking, biking, skating, etc. Info: Tom@HistorySouth.org

Where: Meet at the swing next to the Charlotte Fire Department, 1201 The Plaza.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors, and children.

Parking: Find on-street parking nearby or use the city lot at Thomas Avenue and Central Avenue ... or bike/walk in using the car-fee OpenStreets704 route. 

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, bus 9 from the Charlotte Transportation Center uptown travels along Central Avenue. Get out at the Thomas Avenue stop.  See more at ridetransit.org.


From Grids to Curves: The Evolution of Dilworth

When: Sunday, May 7, 2 p.m.

What: Join urban design Professor Emeritus David Walters for an hour’s walking tour of the Dilworth neighborhood. Learn about Charlotte’s first “Streetcar Suburb” and how it transformed into a Romantic Garden Suburb.

Where: Meet outside Big Ben's British Restaurant, 2000 South Blvd., Suite 150

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs, bicycles, seniors and children.

Parking: Parking is available at 2000 South Blvd.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take the Lynx Blue Line light rail from the Charlotte Transportation Center to the East/West Boulevard station, and walk about five minutes. Or take bus 16 from the Charlotte Transportation Center uptown or bus 25 from Novant Presbyterian Health Center. See details at ridetransit.org.


Trail of History along Little Sugar Creek Greenway

When: Sunday, May 7, 3 p.m.

What: Led by local historian and author Scott Syfert, this walk will visit the Trail of History statues along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and tell the histories of the people depicted by the statues.

Where: The group will meet in front of the Philip L. Van Every Culinary Arts Center on the campus of Central Piedmont Community College, at Seventh Street and Kings Drive.


Walking Tour of Johnson C. Smith University and Nearby Neighborhood

When: Saturday, May 13, 1:30-3:30pm

What: Learn about remarkable McCrorey Heights, a neighborhood built after World War II by and for African American leaders. Then stroll to the handsome campus of Johnson C. Smith University. Walk leaders will include historian Tom Hanchett and others.

Where: The group will meet at First Baptist Church-West, 1801 Oaklawn Ave.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to bicycles, seniors, children.

Parking: Parking is available in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church-West.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take bus 26 from the Charlotte Transportation Center uptown and get out at the Mulberry Avenue stop across the street from the church.  See more at ridetransit.org.


Walking Tour of Hebrew Cemetery and Brightwalk

When: Sunday, May 14, 1-3 p.m.

What: Hear stories of the notables who rest in one of Charlotte’s oldest cemeteries, including best-selling author and civil rights activist Harry Golden. Then head next door to visit one of Charlotte’s newest neighborhoods, Brightwalk, a national model of mixed-income development. Brian Yesowitch of Temple Beth El will co-lead the walk with historian Tom Hanchett.

Where: Hebrew Cemetery, 1801 Statesville Ave.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to bicycles, seniors, and children.

Parking: Limited parking is available at the cemetery.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, take bus 26 from the Charlotte Transportation Center uptown and get out at the Oaklawn Avenue intersection. Walk five minutes to the cemetery.  See more at ridetransit.org.


East Charlotte Munching Tour – Central Avenue

When: Tuesday, May 16, 4:30-7 p.m.

What: Enjoy Mexican and Colombian pastries, Honduran baleadas, Mexican tortas and get a glimpse of the surprisingly rich cultural life of Charlotte’s “salad bowl suburbs.” The walk is hosted by Tom Hanchett, the local historian and Charlotte Observer “Food From Home” columnist. This walk is limited to 15 attendees so registration is required to reserve your spot. RSVP at the link above. The walk is free to attend but please bring about $20 in cash to pay for any food you want to eat.  

Where: The group will meet in front of Lempira Restaurant, 4439 Central Avenue.

Accessibility: This event is accessible and open to wheelchairs and seniors.

Parking: Parking is available at 4439 Central Avenue.

Transit: If you’d prefer not to drive, bus 9 from the Charlotte Transportation Center uptown travels along Central Avenue. Get out at the Progress Lane stop and walk about a minute. See more at ridetransit.org.


Liberty Walk through uptown

When: Saturday, May 20, 3 p.m.

What: Uptown Charlotte saw plenty of action in the years before and during the Revolutionary War, including the 1780 Battle of Charlotte between local patriots and the forces of Lord Cornwallis, the British commander who spent 16 humiliating days in Charlotte during September 1780. Learn why the hornet’s nest is Charlotte’s symbol. (Hint: It involves an annoyed Cornwallis, after local militia pestered his men relentlessly.) Learn why May 20 is a significant date for Charlotte. Led by local historian and author Scott Syfert, this event will tell you about Charlotte’s Revolutionary history as you follow the Liberty Walk through uptown.

Where: The group will meet in front of the Harvey B. Gantt Center, 551 S. Tryon St. uptown.


The Story of Pinewood and Elmwood Cemeteries

This walk will be led by Bill Hart of the Fourth Ward neighborhood. Details on this walk will be added soon.