More than 60 Charlotte-area residents gathered at Charlotte Art League in northeast Charlotte for the first session of Sustain Charlotte’s Impact 704 Academy on Thursday evening.
Participants learned basics about smart growth and urban design in a presentation led by Sustain Charlotte’s Engagement and Impact Director Meg Fencil and Urban Design Specialist Eric Zaverl.
Next, Katherine Idziorek, Ph.D., AICP and Michelle Zuñiga, Ph.D., AICP, from UNC Charlotte Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, gave an overview of chrono-urbanism and shared a study they conducted of resident transportation experiences in Charlotte’s Corridors of Opportunity.
Chron-urbanism imagines cities that are organized around centers of activity, where each neighborhood is in close proximity to services needed for day-to-day life.
The Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan states that “all Charlotte households should have access to essential amenities, goods and services within a comfortable, tree-shaded 10-minute walk, bike or transit trip by 2040.” This includes destinations like healthy food opportunities, parks, greenways, health care services, community facilities, financial services and sustaining wage jobs.
The UNCC study assessed the experiences of residents living in Charlotte’s Corridors of Opportunity. These responses resulted in policy recommendations for achieving 10-minute neighborhoods in Charlotte, like basing policy metrics on resident experience of travel time; prioritizing frequent, efficient public transit service and safe pedestrian environments; and seeking synergies with climate change resilience initiatives.
The presenters also shared ways to advocate for transportation improvements in the community. Here are their recommendations:
- Volunteer with CATS Adopt-A-Stop
- Request new or enhanced bus stops by emailing [email protected]
- Request municipal services (eg. traffic calming, streetlight repairs)
- Request sidewalk repairs or new sidewalks via the City’s Sidewalk and Pedestrian Safety Program
- For sidewalk repairs, contact the Sidewalk Program at [email protected]
- Join the Charlotte Regional Transportation Coalition or another community advocacy organization
Following the presentation, participants were invited to ask questions and engage in discussion with panelists and one another.
Miss the first session? No worries! We’ll be posting a replay here soon.
And we hope you’ll join us for the next two sessions.
On December 7 we will highlight land use and how our city is designed and planned. City of Charlotte Planning staff will give two presentations and lead attendees through a planning exercise, followed by a presentation by Mecklenburg Park & Recreation Senior Planner, Katie Lloyd, and a panel discussion and Q&A.
And on December 14 we will dive into transportation systems and the critical role they play in land use and smart growth decisions. Staff from Charlotte Department of Transportation and CATS will both give presentations followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.
THANKS FOR READING!
As a nonprofit, community support is essential for us to keep doing what we do — including providing free articles like this. If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting Sustain Charlotte.