Your chance to envision making a better place

Award-winning planner James Rojas wants Charlotte residents to envision what they want their community to look like.  He’ll hold an interactive public workshop in Charlotte on Dec. 5.

The workshop will be 6-8 p.m. at the CLT Powerhouse, 1507 Camden Road, in Charlotte’s South End. It’s free and dinner will be served, but a space is limited. Register here.

Rojas, from the design- and participation-based urban planning organization Place It!, is an urban planner and community activist. In collaboration with multiple municipalities, museums, nonprofits and other organizations, he has facilitated more than 400 workshops. He was awarded the 2015 Planning Advocate Award of Excellence by the California Chapter of the American Planning Association.

He has created an innovative way to engage community members in imagining possibilities for their community. Residents will use found objects, such as blocks and Legos, to create their own 3D models of their community.

The workshop helps participants understand how the buildings, streets and sidewalks can affect their everyday lives. Participants also start to understand the emotional connections they have to their communities, using personal stories and memories. By combining art and urban planning, common themes emerge. From those themes, Rojas will provide recommendations for future programming and planning.

The event is co-hosted by the Building Community: People + Places + Partners initiative and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation.


Lela Moore Ijames is a master’s degree student in the Gerald G. Fox Master of Public Administration Program at UNC Charlotte. She is working for the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute as part of the Building Community: People + Places + Partners project.