Smaller cities and towns across North Carolina are hoping an old, familiar sound will spark new life in their downtowns: The crack of a bat. Four new downtown ballparks with capacity for about 5,000 fans are popping up in the state, and officials are counting on them to draw new residents, breweries, restaurants and vitality.
Three counties outside Mecklenburg have now expressed formal - though nonbinding - support for bringing a regional rail system of some kind across the border. That would be a first for Charlotte, where rail-based mass transit has so far been confined to within the city limits.
As Charlotte grows denser and more urban, parts of the city built decades ago on an auto-centric, suburban framework are struggling to both absorb more traffic and adapt to new beliefs about how people should get around. A one-mile stretch of congested road in fast-growing University City illustrates the tensions between balancing the needs of cars and pedestrians, as well as local residents and commuters, in an area where the distinction between urban and suburban is starting to blur.
The Charlotte region is taking concrete steps towards building a regional transit system, and, in a local first, the proposed Silver Line could run through three counties. But plenty of big questions remain. Chief among them: Who will pay?
As cities continue to grow and thrive, with downtowns reviving and old neighborhoods being redeveloped, is their future still really in the suburbs? That's what one advocate said this week at a real estate forum, provoking debate about growth, transit and sprawl.
A special spot of ancient prairie, never worked or plowed, has been preserved.
A new report finds Charlotte and its region are underperforming in many measurements of its local food economy.
As local foods from local farms grow more popular, some in Mecklenburg explore whether to push for a voluntary agricultural district to help local farmers. Only 12 N.C. counties lack one.
Transportation planning in the greater Charlotte region is split among five planning groups. Will a federal push to consolidate make a difference?
Podcast: Kannapolis is unlike any other N.C. municipality. For decades it was owned by Cannon Mills. But as textiles faded, its fortunes sagged. Last year, the city bought downtown, to spur revival. Our first Talk of the Towns podcast features Planning Director Zac Gordon.
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