Reflections: Working for equity

My name is Jaire Clarida and I spent this summer interning with Sustain Charlotte through the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation internship program. My internship experience has been an amazing experience this summer! I was able to learn many new things about the non-profit world by being a part of Sustain Charlotte. I learned many new things about sustainability, including the seriousness and impact of making sure that we all value the environment in which we live. Continue reading

How will you share your input on land use planning in Charlotte?

This was one of our favorite blog posts to write, because there's just so much exciting news on transportation and land use to share with you! Plus, there are lots of public input opportunities to add your voice! The City is making progress on its Streets Map, public input for the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, and the Unified Development Ordinance. On Monday July 21, Charlotte City Council's Transportation and Planning (TAP) Committee heard updates from staff on each of these topics.  Committee Chair Julie Eiselt led the meeting. Committee members Greg Phipps and Braxton Winston also attended.  You can weigh in on the Streets Map! The main goal of the Streets Map is to "Create streets that support transit-oriented (TOD) neighborhoods". That means the areas adjacent to the LYNX Blue Line light rail stations. Check out the picture below for an example of what a great street could look like. See how there are safe and inviting places to walk, cross the street, ride a bicycle, and ride public transit?  The Streets Map and TOD Standards together will help create great streets in Charlotte. (image: Charlotte Planning) Continue reading

Teaching youth about sustainable alternatives to driving

On Wednesday July 17th, we hosted our 3rd annual Youth Quake Transportation Fair and it was yet again... a resounding SUCCESS! The fair was organized in partnership with the Progressive Baptist Church’s summer camp, YouthQuake. Continue reading

How we stay sustainable at the office

You may have heard that we just moved offices, from our previous location along the Rail Trail to a cute little office with views of Bank of America Stadium. Now that we're settled in, we’re excited to share the little things that we’re doing in our new space to make our office more sustainable. Check out the list below, and then give them a try at your own office! Continue reading

How one of our team made the switch to a clean commute

When I started at Sustain Charlotte in February of 2019, I was living in Huntersville and commuting down to our office in South End. With one infant and two dogs at home, taking the 77-Express bus (while a fantastic option for those in North Mecklenburg County) proved to be too unpredictable and didn't provide me with the flexibility needed to get home to my family in case of emergency. Continue reading

Improving pedestrian connectivity in Charlotte's North End

We are excited to have recently received a grant from AARP to help connect the neighborhoods of Charlotte’s North End with trails and signage. North End has the lowest street connectivity index and sidewalk availability for areas surrounding Uptown Charlotte. Gaps in the sidewalk network and lack of crosswalks put people in danger and prevent them from walking and biking. Continue reading

Charlotte’s ambitious plan to fight climate change and reduce carbon emissions

Last year Charlotte City Council approved a plan that aims to make Charlotte a low carbon city by 2050. And last week 75 people gathered with us at Triple C Brewing to hear more about how this plan is getting off the ground. Continue reading

The high costs of climate change in North Carolina

The impacts of climate change are already apparent here in North Carolina. More frequent and severe storms are seriously impacting maintenance budgets, and could threaten NCDOT's ability to keep our transportation infrastructure well maintained. Hurricane Florence's floodwaters destroyed a section of U.S. 421 last year. (image: NCDOT) Continue reading

Charlotte is updating its street map toolbox and you can help determine what they look like

The City is working on a Streets Map that will impact how new streets are built in relation to the newly adopted Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) districts. Right now the draft will include only major streets and their possible cross-sections for the Blue Line. Continue reading

A city planning boardgame? Yes, and it's awesome.

If you've been to a meeting where government staff are seeking public input, it's likely gone something like this: watch a short presentation, walk around to different stations to view maps, and put some colored dots or sticky notes with your comments onto poster boards. It's a time-tested strategy that connects residents directly with the staff who build and implement plans. But now Charlotte's Planning, Design & Development Department is taking engagement a step forward. At the June 24 City Council Transportation and Planning Committee meeting (view the full meeting notes here), planning staff shared an in-depth overview of a new board game that's designed to be played by residents to educate them about land use and solicit feedback on how Charlotte should grow. Unlike a traditional board game, the goal isn't for one "winner" to emerge victorious. Instead, the goal is for the whole group of players to make the best use of space within Charlotte. Our interns Jaire and Tamara enjoyed checking out the Growing Better Places board game! Continue reading