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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.


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...
May 16, 2014
When you hear that a new book “opens my eyes to an entirely new way of thinking,” as “Better! Cities & Towns” editor Rob Steuteville wrote, you may want to pay attention. Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism, by...
May 14, 2014
Charlotte City Council members will consider strategies for lobbying against a state bill expected to be introduced that city officials fear would all but gut the city’s tree protection ordinance.The proposed bill won approval on April 30 from an...
May 08, 2014
In Charlotte, one neighborhood more than any other came to represent the housing crisis. Built between 2002 and 2004, the Windy Ridge neighborhood of 133 small, single-family homes fell victim. By 2008, 60 percent of the neighborhood’s homes were in...
May 07, 2014
When we turned from Mayflower Road onto Hendren Avenue, it hit me. This Revolution Park neighborhood in west Charlotte was a dead ringer for the neighborhood in southeast Charlotte where I bought a tiny house when I first moved to town three decades...
May 07, 2014
Americans use an average of 60,000 plastic bags every minute – single-use disposable bags that we mindlessly throw away. It takes an estimated 12 million barrels of oil a year to make the plastic bags that Americans consume. And that’s just bags....