Leaders from across the region gathered Monday in a conference room at Charlotte Douglas International Airport with an ambitious goal: Creating a comprehensive plan for public transit, covering a dozen counties and setting the transit agenda for decades. Called CONNECT Beyond, the 18-month planning effort by the Centralina Council of Governments is, to put it simply, big. The planning area covers 12 counties, in two states, with 17 different transit systems. Previous transit planning efforts have been focused mostly on one county at a time. The goal here is to come up with a plan to coordinate and prioritize projects, as well as funding requests, across the whole region. “Twenty years from now, I think everyone is going to look back on this as the jumping-off point,” said John Muth, the Charlotte Area Transit System’s chief development officer.
There’s a growing consensus that if we want to get out of the housing affordability mess we’re in, we need to hear a lot more swinging hammers. Policymakers, developers and housing advocates are all talking about the need to build more, and more of everything: single-family houses, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses and apartments. It’s fast become the conventional wisdom that we need to lower regulatory barriers, streamline the development process and unleash the power of the market on our housing problems by allowing as much density as possible.
Charlotte's George E. Davis, a tireless advocate for education and one of the leading advocates for the building of Rosenwald schools, was a major reason that a number of these schools were built in North Carolina.
Only a fraction of the Rosenwald Schools remain, reminders of a remarkable early 20th-century partnership of rural black communities in the South and a Jewish philanthropist from Chicago. Those remaining in Mecklenburg range from lovingly restored to painfully dilapidated.
The old planners’ joke is that Americans hate two things for their cities—urban sprawl and high density. PlanCharlotte examined where in this metro region multifamily is, and where it isn’t. Some communities, hoping to attract more Millennials, want more multifamily. Others’ long-range plans discourage multifamily development.
Since 2010, the home counties of Charlotte and Raleigh have accounted for nearly half of all population growth in North Carolina. Just 10 N.C. counties tallied nearly 80 percent of the state's increased population. (Image: John Chesser, Tableau maps)
Charlotte-area residents will have an additional opportunity to voice their opinion on the region’s growth. A fourth Mecklenburg County workshop will be held Oct. 24 at Freedom Park as part of the “CONNECT Our Future” planning program. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Between 2006 and 2013, the rate of N.C. high school students graduating on time (in four years) rose from 68.3 percent to 82.5 percent. The state's two largest districts, Wake and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, now have the same rate, 81 percent. Explore data for all N.C. districts with our interactive dashboards. (Photo: iStock)
Charlotte area planning and sustainability enthusiasts can have their say about the future of the region in coming weeks by getting involved in two long-range regional planning efforts.
How can the Charlotte region prepare for the thousands of new jobs and houses expected to come here? RealityCheck2050, part of the CONNECT process, let regional participants develop their own versions of the future. (Photo: Melissa Currie)
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