Readers invited to nominate places for urban makeovers 

Imagine Charlotte places, remade: Week 4

In honor of our second anniversary, PlanCharlotte.org is asking readers to nominate spots in the Charlotte region that need a design makeover. (See our first installment in this series here and our second installment here.

Urban designers Keihly Moore and Alex Borisenko have launched a website, www.completeblocks.com, where they’re proposing a series of urban design retrofits, many of them nominated by readers.

So far, we've highlighted places in DavidsonSouth Boulevard, as well as spots in Plaza Midwood, the Seventh Street bridge over Interstate 277, and South Church Street next to the new Romare Bearden Park. This week's reimagined place is to reconnect neighborhoods to the north and south of Independence Boulevard.

This week's retrofit

The Independence Boulevard freeway project severed the Chantilly neighborhood from the Commonwealth Park neighborhood to the north. The before map (above) by Charlotte planner Scott Adams shows no connectivity between the two neighborhoods for a 1.3-mile stretch. Adams' solution for this is a pedestrian bridge over Independence Boulevard on Westover Avenue. The proposed bridge is the solid red line outlined in green in the 'after' photo at the top of the page. The bridge would significantly reduce walking/biking time between the two neighborhoods. Long-time Charlotteans may recall that before the freeway was built, The Plaza and Morningside connected across Independence, with traffic signals. 

Here’s how you can nominate places in your town or neighborhood for some urban design makeover magic:

  • If possible, take a “Before” photo.
  • It isn’t necessary but if you like, create your own vision for an improvement, using tools such as Photoshop, sketching or collage.

Then submit your “before” photo (and the “after” image, if you have one) or just submit a suggestion, without photos, in one of several ways:

  • Email plancharlotte@gmail.com with “Nominated for a makeover” in the subject line.
  • Or visit the Complete Blocks website here and add your suggested location (and suggested improvements) to the map. Watch the video if you need instructions for adding spots to the map.