Land development

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Data, urban agriculture and opportunity zones: Lessons from Milwaukee

Antonio Butts, executive director of Walnut Way in Milwaukee. Sometimes it can feel like the world is drowning in data: Big data, data mining, data science, data analytics and other buzzwords have become so familiar as to be cliches.  But the meeting last week of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, held in Milwaukee, was also full of reminders about the power of data to tell stories and inform decision-making. 

From Ballantyne to SouthPark to University City, the suburbs want to be more like the city

"Ballantyne Reimagined" seeks to redevelop an office park into a mixed-use hub of activity. It’s happening across Charlotte: Apartments, office buildings and restaurants are popping up in parking lots, as dense, mixed-use developments, connected by bicycle paths and walking trails, invade suburbia. What’s driving the shift at some of the city’s most iconic suburban centers?

Hoping to rebuild their downtowns, more NC cities are turning to baseball

Kannapolis is hoping that a new baseball stadium will help spark a downtown revival, more than 15 years after the closure of Cannon Mills' textile plant changed the city forever. Rendering courtesy city of Kannapolis. 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. 

As development booms, Charlotte still wrestles with density

With Charlotte’s population growing by more than 60 people a day, planners, politicians and many residents agree that denser development is inevitable in the city’s future. But just how dense - and where to build that extra density - remain thorny questions, especially when denser developments are proposed in single-family neighborhoods. 

Charlotte is backing off its goal of 50 percent tree canopy by 2050

Eight years ago, Charlotte set a goal for itself: 50 percent tree canopy coverage across the city by 2050. But because of rapid development and an aging tree population, the city likely won’t reach that goal, officials said last week. Instead, they’re refocusing on smaller, neighborhood-level targets and other “fifty-themed” tree promotion efforts.

Charlotte is ‘on the cusp’ of its first true regional transit plan

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?

People assume transit causes displacement. Does it really?

It’s a familiar story: A new transit line opens, spurring gentrification in nearby neighborhoods and pushing out long-time residents.  But is that always what happens? New research from UNC Charlotte suggests the story is more complicated. 

Mecklenburg parks’ big budget boost isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

At first glance, the proposed fiscal 2020 budget for Mecklenburg Park and Recreation looks like a slam dunk. With the clarity of a slow-mo replay, however, stripped of its glitter and pizzazz, the budget looks a lot more like a mediocre layup.

Offices in South End, apartments in Ballantyne? Lines are blurring.

Is Ballantyne about to become South End, or vice versa? Probably not - but lines in Charlotte that were once razor-sharp are starting to get a lot blurrier.

Here’s what Charlotte really, really needs from its 2040 plan

Charlotte's 2040 plan is coming. What will be in it? We asked a dozen Charlotte community leaders from different walks of life one question: What does the city need more than anything in its new vision for growth? From designing for people instead of cars to building more equitably to not imposing too many regulations, here’s what they had to say.