Feb 18, 2015
After three years of citizen engagement, which led to a Regional Growth Framework for the Charlotte region, the CONNECT Our Future initiative moves into implementation, including a set of 31 quality-of-life indicators, now available online.
Jan 28, 2015
Planners and others say alcohol sales are a primary catalyst for attracting the development of restaurants and stores. Government officials like the extra tax revenue. But in some places, voters still say no.
Jan 27, 2015
Do you have a favorite Main Street, greenway, or historic rehabilitation? Join in this year’s competition to nominate and vote on your favorite North Carolina places.
Jan 14, 2015
Happy 2015. Below are some of the most-read web articles from 2014 from, from the past year. If you missed them the first time around, here's another chance to read them.
Jan 14, 2015
Since the late 1990s, Charlotte has experienced a major policy shift toward creating more walkable streets. Things are improving, but the city still faces significant challenges: a legacy of our decades of auto-oriented development. Commentary.
Dec 11, 2014
A new kind of zoning code, called a form-based code, can stimulate development or deter it. Will it make approvals even more onerous, or streamline them? Commentary.
Dec 10, 2014
The first major survey of Charlotte historic resources in 30 years says demolition and development have shrunk historic sections of three local historic districts. It also recommends possibly adding more historic districts, especially in northwest Charlotte.
Dec 02, 2014
In cities and counties surrounding Charlotte, tensions are swirling over rapid residential growth and – especially – how to pay for it. Can their low tax rates support urban services new residents want? (Explore interactive maps.)
Nov 18, 2014
The 115 ideas for creating a more livable Mecklenburg range from protecting more historic buildings to better training the local workforce to rethinking local residents’ reliance on fescue lawns.
Nov 04, 2014
As Charlotte looks to rewrite its zoning ordinance, there's talk of possibly using a form-based code. We interview urban design professor David Walters about what those codes are.
Oct 29, 2014
The town of Lincolnton, population 10,500, is making it easier for manufacturers to come to town, since the textile industry has left industrial sites vacant. The installment of “Talk of the Towns” interviews Lincolnton Planning Director Laura Simmons.
Oct 15, 2014
When Lake Norman flooded parts of four counties in 1963 a 660-acre area of Mecklenburg County was cut off from the rest of the county. It was accessible only by boat or a 12-mile trip through Iredell County. This became a source of conflict between Iredell and Mecklenburg counties for decades before the two counties reached a solution in 1997.
Oct 15, 2014
It is easy to forget that Detroit was a city on top of the world 50 years ago. Charlotte is not Detroit, but the recession brought a reality check. Did it bring the resolve to fight the complacency that comes with success?
Sep 22, 2014
This installment of our series of planner interviews heads to Iredell County, where Matthew Todd describes efforts of industrial recruitment, rural farmland preservation and the challenges of planning in a diverse county that includes suburban Charlotte to the south and rural foothills to the north.
Sep 17, 2014
By 2050, residents in the Charlotte region would prefer to see more rural areas preserved, less suburban development and more areas that blend housing, stores and offices.
Sep 16, 2014
What would happen if Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte sprouted a series of small parklets? You can find out on Friday.
Aug 27, 2014
It was back-to-school week last week at UNC Charlotte, the 1,000-acre campus that sits in the heart of University City, an area that - if it were a separate municipality - would be North Carolina's sixth largest city. What challenges is it facing? (Photo: Martin Zimmerman)
Aug 19, 2014
This installment in our series of planner interviews heads to Rock Hill, where Bill Meyer describes how the city has encouraged a mixed-use development at the old Celanese plant site, revitalized downtown and is looking at its long-range planning. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Aug 13, 2014
As the final leg of I-485 nears completion, residents near the Prosperity Church Road interchange are bracing for growth. A 1999 plan calls for an “urban village” there of compact streets and walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. Will the growth really follow that plan? (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Jul 28, 2014
How did Copenhagen become an international model of urbanism? Four leaders from Charlotte and Mecklenburg County government, philanthropy and real estate will find out in August on a six-day study trip. (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Heb)
Jul 15, 2014
Salisbury hopes to draw new residents to downtown, a key to increasing the customer base for stores and restaurants, says Salisbury Planning Director Janet Gapen. The city's other big push: remaking some streets so they are safer for pedestrians. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Jul 11, 2014
A proposal to re-design South End's bicycle-walking path beside the Lynx Blue Line into an art-filled series of public spaces has won an almost half-million-dollar grant to support creative place-making. (Image: Charlotte Center City Partners)
Jul 08, 2014
After the approval of a controversial rezoning this spring in the Cherry neighborhood, one of the city's oldest historically black areas, Charlotte officials are studying how to keep gentrification from forcing out long-time residents in older neighborhoods. (Photo: Mary Newsom)
Jun 27, 2014
The city faces important decisions about its Eastland Mall property, and the future of east Charlotte. But the city's vision could be undermined by an upcoming rezoning. Commentary. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Jun 25, 2014
Charlotte can learn a lot from Malmo, Sweden, which has steered residents away from cars to bikes, buses and high-speed trains. Commentary. (Photo: Martin Zimmerman)
Jun 19, 2014
PlanCharlotte kicks off an occasional series of conversations with planners around the metro region. The first visit is with Keith Wolf of Albemarle, a town dealing with slow population growth. (Photo: Chuck McShane) 
Jun 06, 2014
Have recent construction projects in Dilworth violated the historic district guidelines? Some neighbors say yes, and the city's historic district administrator agrees. (Photo: Chuck McShane)
Jun 03, 2014
Adding a center median to slow traffic and make room for bikers and walkers would make Rama Road safer - and improve neighborhood access to Rama Road Elementary School.
Jun 03, 2014
If a new ranking finds Charlotte has the largest parks, by size, in the country, why does the city rank so low overall? The latest ParkScore ranking takes more into account than size alone. (Photo: Mary Newsom)
May 28, 2014
On Charlotte's least pedestrian- and bike-friendly type of street - a parkway - a new asphalt trail is open, connecting UNC Charlotte to apartments along University City Boulevard. It's part of the city's ongoing bike-ped enhancements. (Photo: Chuck McShane)
May 21, 2014
The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia area ranks 10th most dangerous metro for pedestrians, according to a study, Dangerous by Design, released this week by the National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
May 20, 2014
Burnsville and Morganton beat out Charlotte-area places to become the 2014 People's Choice winners in the APA-NC's "Great Places in N.C." contest. (Photo: Linda Brown)
May 20, 2014
Benjamin Ross, author of "Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism," will discuss his book at the UNC Charlotte Center City campus today at 6 p.m. Ross' talk will be followed by a panel discussion.
May 16, 2014
Transit advocate Benjamin Ross wondered why so many suburbanites fight development. After researching the founding values of U.S. suburbia he concludes it's based on status-seeking. He'll speak this evening at UNC Charlotte.
May 08, 2014
Charlotte's Windy Ridge neighborhood has drawn extensive publicity as an extreme example of a neighborhood "built to fail." In a new article for an academic journal, three UNC Charlotte researchers conclude that one factor in its failure was Charlotte's "growth-machine" culture. A Q-and-A interview. (Photo: Josh MCann)
Apr 30, 2014
From now through May 9, the public can vote from among four Charlotte-area places as part of the Great Places in N.C. contest from the N.C Chapter of the American Planning Association. (Photo: John Chesser)
Apr 16, 2014
When you list the many people in Charlotte who've been prodding the city and region to grow in a more urban way, UNC Charlotte's David Walters should be among those at the top of that list. Next month, he'll retire from teaching. (Photo courtesy David Walters)
Apr 09, 2014 invites readers to nominate spots in the Charlotte region that need a design makeover. This week's suggestion: re-connect neighborhoods along Independence Boulevard. (Image:
Apr 02, 2014
We've lived car-free in Charlotte since 2012, and it hasn't been easy, though we're saving money. Instead of "transportation choices," why don't cities adopt a bolder long-range goal: to make car-free living more than a novelty? (Photo: Claire Apaliski)
Apr 02, 2014
For PlanCharlotte's second anniversary, we're asking readers to nominate spots in the Charlotte region that need a design makeover. This week, we head north to Davidson. (Image:
Mar 26, 2014
Imagine a Gold Museum, homes, stores, offices – even a bowling alley and skateboard park – in a corner of South End. That's the vision of business and property owners in the area, which they've dubbed the Gold District. (Image: Stephen Overcash)
Mar 25, 2014
For the past two years, has sponsored neighborhood walks encouraging folks to get to know their places better, in honor of urban activist Jane Jacobs. This year we're expanding into a festival of six Jane’s Walks May 2-4, in partnership with and with funding from the Knight Foundation. (Photo: Mary Newsom)
Mar 21, 2014
In honor of our second anniversary, is asking readers to nominate spots in the Charlotte region that need a design makeover. Last week we highlighted spots in Plaza Midwood, along Seventh Street and next to Romare Bearden Park. This week the action shifts to South Boulevard. (Image:
Mar 19, 2014
A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has trail advocates worried about the fate of the national rails-to-trails program, but the ruling is unlikely to affect North Carolina. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Mar 14, 2014
Imagine a spot you think needs a makeover. PlanCharlotte, with urban designers Keihly Moore and Alex Borisenko, invites you to nominate places in the Charlotte region that need some urban design magic. Image:
Feb 25, 2014
CONNECT Our Future, a long-term regional planning process for the 14-county Charlotte region, will host several forums in March. Project organizers will ask attendees for opinions on four growth scenarios for the region. Here's how to attend one of the forums. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Feb 24, 2014
We know North Carolina is filled with great places. Here's your chance to suggest places that deserve public recognition and celebration. The N.C. Chapter of the American Planning Association wants nominations from the public for Great Main Street and Great Public Place. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Feb 12, 2014
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan applied research institute offering consulting services and public outreach for more than 40 years. We provide research and information to help the public understand the Charlotte region. Through our websites we offer articles and data on a range of issues that could be useful to neighborhood groups. (Image: Dylan McKnight) 
Feb 12, 2014
Charlotte leaders cite Crystal City, outside Washington, as a model for new development they envision west of the airport. But this vision misses what makes Crystal City work: mass transit. (Photo: Mariana Gil/EMBARQ Brasil)
Feb 07, 2014
Charlotte city planners are moving forward with a plan to look - in stages - at revising the city-county zoning ordinance, hoping to finish that multiyear process by 2018.