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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.


Apr 16, 2014
When David Walters moved to Charlotte in 1990, you could pretty much fit all the people here who understood urbanism into one room. And when that happened – for instance, at the loosely organized Charlotte Urban Forum breakfast group – Walters was...
Apr 16, 2014
We asked UNC Charlotte professor David Walters, who is retiring, what three major planning breakthroughs would he want to see made in North Carolina? “I’d work my first miracle at home. For Charlotte we would have a funded transit system with the...
Apr 09, 2014
From Hyde Park to Sheffield Park to Madison Park, plenty of Charlotte-area neighborhoods are filled with people who love where they live. Now, they have an opportunity to show the world what’s remarkable about their neighborhoods. Learn more...
Mar 26, 2014
Envision this:  A man draped in a cape, brandishing a gold-tipped cane, strolls through a 79-acre[1], 16-block chunk of South End. He’s costumed as the colorful Count Chevalier Vincent de Rivafinoli, an Italian gold-digger (literally) who swept...
Mar 25, 2014
When you get right down to it, any city or town is built of neighborhoods – block by block and street by street. That formula is part of the magic behind the idea of Jane’s Walks, an international movement that encourages people to get out for a...
Mar 21, 2014
In honor of our second anniversary, is asking readers to nominate spots in the Charlotte region that need a design makeover. (See last week’s article, the first installment in this series, by clicking here.) Urban designers Keihly...
Mar 14, 2014
Imagine a spot in your city or town that you think needs a makeover – only instead of adding a new haircut and stylish clothes, you add trees, sidewalk cafes, bicycle lanes or parks. PlanCharlotte, with urban designers Keihly Moore and Alex...
Mar 05, 2014
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, in partnership with the UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture, has launched KEEPING WATCH, a three-year initiative designed to bring a higher profile to, and engage the public in, issues about the natural...
Mar 04, 2014
It was a challenge thrown at the feet of the city of Charlotte in September 2008. In a package in The Charlotte Observer looking at the region’s future, writers Neal Peirce and Curtis Johnson urged Charlotte and nearby cities to position themselves...
Feb 24, 2014
We know North Carolina is filled with great places: both natural landscapes and cultural and historic treasures, from main streets to parks to neighborhoods. Here’s your chance to suggest places that deserve public recognition and celebration. The N...