September 17 Weekly Brief!

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Are you looking for a fun, family-friendly event this fall? We've got it! Sustain Charlotte's 1st Annual Biketoberfest is on October 17th and you don't want to miss it! Participants will bike, walk, and/or ride to a variety of destinations in Center City and South End while obtaining stamps in their official Biketoberfest Passport. The more destinations visited, the more chances to win really cool prizes including a NEW TREK BIKE, generously donated by Trek Bicycle Stores of Charlotte! At 7:00pm, there will be an after party at Triple C Brewing with live music, food trucks, and more. Tickets are only $15 and include a 2015 Biketoberfest t-shirt, entry to the after party at Triple C, a beer, and discounts and prizes from sponsoring businesses! Click here to get your tickets now. This event is presented by: Triple C BrewingCrescent Communities, and Passport.

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Tuesday night, we took part in organizing a vigil and memorial for an East Charlotte man who was struck and killed by a vehicle while riding his bicycle on Parkwood Avenue late Sunday morning. This community gathering was intended to not only honor the life of Alfred Peaslee Gorman, 73, but also to ask the City of Charlotte to make changes to Parkwood Avenue that will improve safety for all users, including pedestrians and cyclists. The section of Parkwood where this tragedy occurred is widely known to be dangerous for pedestrians and people on bikes, due to its narrow sidewalks, lack of bike lanes, and speeding motorists. Watch this video to be inspired by a great example of the kind of transformation to safer streets that we need here in Charlotte. Our Bicycle Program Director, Jordan Moore, was also interviewed on this issue on Fox46Charlotte on Monday. Click below to watch:

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Car-Free Day is next Tuesday! To celebrate, we are encouraging all to live life car-free by taking part in a challenge: Every morning next week at 7am, we will post the challenge to our Transportation Choices Alliance facebook page. Participate for a chance to win a package of two tickets to Biketoberfest each day!


Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers who helped us make Charlotte's first pedestrian and bicycle count a success! These counts were the first of several more to come, providing the baseline data that is the first step in the process of our city becoming more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

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We are currently seeking raffle prize donations for BiketoberfestIf you are interested in sponsoring or donating a raffle prize, contact Jordan Moore at jordan.moore@sustaincharlotte.org. We hope you will take advantage of this great opportunity to gain visibility for your small business, company or non-profit organization, while supporting a great community event!


Local residents like you play a critical role in ensuring we have the resources to carry out our work in the community to inspire choices that lead to a to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come! Help us do more by becoming a Sustain Charlotte member today for as little as $3/month -- that's one cup of coffee! Click to learn how easily you can support our mission and your community via membership:

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We are happy to give a warm welcome to our newest members: Betty Burns and Erin Brighton! We sincerely appreciate their support of our mission and your community through their membership! 


We are excited to share that our Gold Partner, NC GreenPower recently announced the schools selected for their Solar Schools Pilot Program (click here to view)! NC GreenPower launched this pilot program on April 1, 2015 to provide matching grants for the installation of a solar PV array at schools, providing clean, green renewable energy in North Carolina. The State Employees Credit Union (SECU) Foundation is partnering to provide a matching challenge grant to increase the solar PV systems from 3 kW to 5 kW. All K-12 schools were encouraged to apply and the positive response received was an indication of strong interest in the program. The pilot schools will have until October 30, 2015 to raise their matching funds and will utilize the NC GreenPower fundraising website, my.NCGreenPower.org. To learn more about this program, click here.  


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For Better Designed Development, We’re Going to Need a Better Code

In his article on PlanCharlotte, David Walters writes, "add together Charlotte’s apartment boom plus the reinvention of urban districts such as South End, Plaza-Central and NoDa, and you come up with a lot of questions. Residents complain about the neighborhoods’ changing character—inevitable in America’s freewheeling, market-based economy, but requiring strong zoning codes that promote good growth and protect neighborhoods from poor development. Other questions include: “Why do the new apartments all look the same?” and “Why are they so boring?”. Click here to read more of Walters' great explanation of how Form-Based Code Zoning, or "Community Character Zoning" would help preserve the character in many of Charlotte's neighborhoods through good urban design. 


Levine Properties Planning 20-Story Office Tower in Uptown

According to The Charlotte Observer, "this office building is the latest piece announced in a major overhaul of First Ward by Levine Properties, which owns about 24 acres -- nine city blocks -- in one of the largest assemblages of privately held land uptown. The area has long been dominated by surface parking lots, but Levine's vision includes 1,500 apartments, 450 hotel rooms, 1.5 million square feet of office space and new retail space. The redevelopment is all planned along the Blue Line light rail extension, which is set to open in 2017." We hope the City's upcoming zoning update encourages more of this type of mixed use, transit-oriented development, which creates a more walkable, bikeable, and more vibrant city!


Charlotte B-Cycle Puts Emphasis on Group Rides, Diverse Staff to Achieve Equity

In this article by The Better Bike Share PartnershipCharlotte B-cycle is recognized for emphasizing group rides as one of its primary forms of community outreach. Executive Director Dianna Ward, says "we partner with people regularly. We’ve formed really good relationships with everyone we can." A recent example is when "a diverse crowd of approximately 130 turned out on August 29 for Charlotte B-Cycle’s third annual back-to-school group ride. The ride focuses primarily on students at the historically black Johnson C. Smith University and the surrounding neighborhoods. Ward estimates that about 90 attendees were students, with the rest consisting of residents from nearby communities who’d heard about the ride over the radio." This is just one of the great ways Charlotte B-cycle engages in community outreach! Read more here


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Volunteer at the NC Bike Summit!

The 2015 NC Bike Summit will be held here in Charlotte Oct 15-17 and our Transportation Choices Alliance is the official host for the event! Volunteers are needed to help with set-up, registration and more. Click here to volunteer, and see the event section below to register as a Summit attendee!


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September 17: CROWN's New Season Kick Off Meeting

7:00pm - 8:00pm @ McClintock Middle School, 1925 Rama Road, Charlotte, NC 28212. This is a very special evening that will showcase the Charlotte Chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. The program will feature just a few of CROWN's key regional partners who, along with CROWN, are dedicated to making the greater Charlotte/Mecklenburg region a healthy, sustainable, and wildlife friendly place to live, work and play. Join us for this great opportunity to learn more about how Sustain Charlotte and other local organizations are working to protect the natural environment! Click here to read more. 


September 18-20: ThinkPlenty Unconference

@ UNC Charlotte PORTAL Building, 9201 University City Blvd Charlotte, NC 28223. ThinkPlenty is a three-day conference that brings together thinkers and doers, friends and neighbors, entrepreneurs and innovators who will rapidly build and prototype solutions to alleviate hunger and increase food access in Charlotte. Click here to read more and to RSVP.


September 30: The Planning for Healthy Communities Conference 

9:00am - 4:00pm @ Charles Mack Citizen Center, 215 N Main Street Mooresville, NC 28115. The 2015 Planning for Healthy Communities conference will focus on how the built environment and local government policies impact community health, and will offer practical strategies for making your community a healthier place. Click here to register. 


* October 2: Creative Loafing's 28th Best of Charlotte Party *

6:00pm - 10:00pm @ Harvey B. Gantt Center, 551 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC. This event benefits Sustain Charlotte! Click here to read more and to purchase tickets today!


* October 6 - Green Drinks Charlotte + Sustain Charlotte Monthly Mixer *

6:00pm - 7:30pm @ The Liberty, 1812 South Blvd, Charlotte. Join us for an informal and fun evening of conversation and networking. Our Monthly Mixers provide an opportunity to learn more about usour partners, and meet others interested in local sustainability! Click here to read more and to RSVP.


October 6-7: Making Energy Work Conference

@ Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601. NCSEA's Making Energy Work Conference is the setting for collaboration to move our clean energy economy forward. It is an opportunity to learn about the next in clean energy, network with clean energy leaders, and identify solutions that advance our clean energy economy. Click here for more information and to register.


October 15-17: The 2015 NC Bike Summit to be Held in Charlotte *

@ UNC Charlotte - Center City Building, 320 E 9th St. Charlotte. Registration is now open! The 2015 NC Bike Summit promises to be packed full of information useful to  bicycle advocates, transportation planners, business owners, elected officials, tactical urbanists, public health practitioners, and livability and sustainability professionals. Our Transportation Choices Alliance is the proud official host for the event!


* October 17:  Sustain Charlotte's Biketoberfest *

Following the 2015 NC Bike Summit, Sustain Charlotte will be holding our very first Biketoberfest -- an event that will bring together bicycling enthusiasts and 'newbies' alike in a city-wide celebration! Interested in aligning your organization with this event? Click here for sponsorship information and to learn more. Get your tickets here!


 MANY THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS

Is your company interested in becoming a Sustain Charlotte partner? Our generous partners play a critical role in supporting our work. Through our corporate membership program, we provide year-round brand exposure, positive publicity, and business development opportunities to those businesses and nonprofits that are helping make our community more sustainable through their products, services, or commitment to move their organization towards greater sustainability. Become a partner today!

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