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Mary Newsom

Mary Newsom's picture

Associate Director
Urban and Regional Affairs

UNC Charlotte Urban Institute
Contact Mary Newsom
Phone: 704 687-1203


Mary is a lifelong newspaper journalist who spent several decades at The Charlotte Observer as an editorial board member and columnist, concentrating on Charlotte regional urban and suburban growth, planning, urban design, transportation and land preservation. She left the Observer and joined the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute in June 2011, where she works on strategic community and university partnerships and oversees the institute’s online communications. She had a year-long Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University and was a Knight Fellow in Community Building at the University of Miami.


A.B. Journalism UNC Chapel Hill


Urban and suburban issues, Charlotte region and North Carolina politics and government, writing, editing and journalism.


Oct 15, 2014
“Downtown was the center of the universe. And then it all changed.”Matt Cullen, CEO of Rock Ventures, a major real estate player in downtown Detroit, was speaking to out-of-town visitors and describing changes in the once thriving, now seriously...
Sep 16, 2014
What would happen if Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte sprouted a series of small parklets? You can find out on Friday.Friday is international PARK(ing) Day, a do-it-yourself initiative taking place around the globe where people take places built for...
Sep 11, 2014
An economic meltdown threatens America’s middle class. UNC Charlotte sociologist Scott Fitzgerald’s most recent book, Middle Class Meltdown in America: Causes, Consequences and Remedies, co-authored with Kevin T. Leicht, examines the political,...
Sep 10, 2014
It was an attention-getting moment Monday night: The Charlotte City Council voted 7-4 to apply for a $75 million* federal grant for the second phase of its controversial streetcar project.As is typical, council members said why they supported or...
Aug 27, 2014
Local streets have jammed with back-to-school traffic this week, as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools opened for a new year.In most parts of the city, the start of UNC Charlotte’s academic year has not been as noticeable. But those of us at UNC...
Jul 23, 2014
If Charlotte is a city of neighborhoods, what happens when almost 20 of those neighborhoods spend a half-day at a retreat to encourage goal-setting? To find out, I spent Saturday morning at the City of Charlotte’s fourth Neighborhood Boards Retreat...
Jun 27, 2014
The old photo shocked me. I was researching Charlotte’s urban renewal, and amid faded images of long-demolished homes in and around uptown was a large old house on Dilworth’s now-affluent East Kingston Avenue. But in the 1960s parts of Dilworth were...
Jun 18, 2014
Concerns about pedestrian safety in South End – and the rest of the city as well – prompted the Charlotte City Council on Monday to order a closer look at what might be done to speed improvements.Council members’ concerns come after a spate of...
Jun 10, 2014
Although the city arborist says Charlotte’s trees are healthy enough, for now, that no more aerial spraying to kill cankerworms is planned for next spring, the city’s infestation with the leaf-munching caterpillars remains high.Learn MoreClick here...
Jun 05, 2014
Is “urban agriculture” possible in a city like Charlotte? Can backyard chickens and rooftop gardens solve urban hunger?The public will get a chance to consider those questions – and sip martinis crafted from local ingredients – at the June 13...