Charlotte needs better sustainability – Report offers suggestions for city’s livability

by Herbert L. White, The Charlotte Post

Charlotte needs to cut back on its carbon footprint in order to remain livable, according to a new report.

The study, published last week by Sustain Charlotte, found that air quality and energy use exceed national averages as sprawl continues its march across the region. Local and county public officials joined Sustain Charlotte Executive Director Shannon Binns at a press conference to announce the release of the inaugural “Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sustainability Report Card: Scoring Our Economic, Environmental, and Social Health.” The report card is an independently researched and written assessment of the region’s health using 57 metrics spanning nine issues.

Using years of data from multiple sources, the authors generated a report card for each issue and provided 94 recommendations for how Charlotte-Mecklenburg can accelerate progress. The nine issues assessed include: Air Quality, Energy Use, Equity + Empowerment, Food, Jobs + Income, Land Use, Transportation, Waste, and Water Use.

“We’ve taken an objective, quantitative approach to assessing our progress on the issues that affect the quality of life for today’s residents as well as those who come after us,” Binns said. “We hope our leaders as well as all residents who call Mecklenburg home will take our recommendations to heart, and make the choices we must make to ensure a vibrant future.”

“Through this report, Sustain Charlotte has held up a mirror for us to reflect on where we are making progress and where we are not. This is a vital contribution as it helps us know what we need to focus on, and I am committed to taking the necessary steps to put our community on a sustainable path,” said Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham.

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