Three easy ways YOU can have a positive impact on water.

Water may not be top of your mind when it comes to smart growth, but every new building, every additional use of energy, every added parking lot, contributes to our water crisis. Pollution is washed off surfaces and into streams, trees that clean and absorb excess water are cut down to build apartments, and stormwater runoff scours out creek banks until they collapse. It’s these issues and more that brought people together for our June Grow Smart CLT event, where our panel of experts discussed water, both quality and quantity. Continue reading

Meet the Intern: Margo Parker

My name is Margo Parker, and this fall I’ll be a sophomore at Davidson College. I moved to North Carolina a year ago from Gainesville, Florida, where I lived with my parents and two big, goofy dogs. At Davidson, I plan on majoring in English and minoring in Environmental Studies, and I hope to study abroad somewhere where I can practice either Spanish or Arabic. In my free time, I enjoy reading, long-distance running, binge-watching various Netflix Originals, and cooking for my friends and family. My main responsibility this summer will be organizing Sustain Charlotte’s Youth Transportation Fair, with the YouthQuake Summer Camp and other community partners. I’ll also be interviewing residents of Washington Heights, Lincoln Heights, and West Boulevard for our Senior Mobility Project, and assisting my supervisor, Meg Fencil, with her advocacy as a member of the Vision Zero Task Force. Continue reading

All the Good Things That You Need to Know About The City’s Adopted FY 2019 Budget

On Monday, June 11th, City Council adopted their FY 2019 budget and FY 2019 - 2023 Community Investment Plan!   City Council adopts FY Budget on June 11th, 2018 The FY 2019 budget includes: $4 million for the bicycle program to begin implementing the elements of a bicycle-friendly city as outlined in the Charlotte BIKES plan.  This is the first stand-alone funding for the City’s bicycle program since 2012, and the largest single-year allocation to the city’s bicycle program ever.    Doubling the funding for the pedestrian program from $15 million to $30 million for projects including sidewalks, street crossings, intersection improvements, and more. $2 million to create a new Vision Zero program to work towards the elimination of traffic fatalities and serious injuries.  Continue reading

Meet the Intern: Payton Coleman

Hi, my name is Payton Coleman and I am very excited to be a summer intern at Sustain Charlotte. I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, but currently reside in the lovely city of Charlotte, NC. I am currently a senior at Catawba College double majoring in political science and environment and sustainability with a concentration in sustainable planning and leadership. With this degree I hope to serve in the Peace Corps for a few years, and then attend law school and become an environmental lawyer. From left: Kate Cavazza, Payton Coleman, and Michael Zytkow, at the 2018 Charlotte Sustainability Summit. Continue reading

South End Vision Plan, Vision Zero, and a New Approach to Charlotte’s Zoning Update

SouthEnd Vision Plan Monica Holmes from the city’s Planning Department gave an overview of changes incorporated into the SouthEnd Vision Plan since the previous Transportation and Planning meeting. Check out the full presentation here. During the April Transportation and Planning meeting, members voiced their concern about the absence of affordable housing language in the plan.  Photo courtesy of: Charlotte Agenda Continue reading

Charlotte City Council Environment Committee Passes Sustainable Energy Resolution

At their June 4 meeting, the Charlotte City Council Environment Committee passed a comprehensive resolution that, among many things, calls for the city to source 100% of its energy used in its buildings and fleet from zero carbon sources by 2030. Continue reading

375 people explored FreeMoreWest on foot at our 2018 #WalkCLT event!

More than 375 Charlotte area residents enjoyed exploring the FreeMoreWest business district, surrounding neighborhoods, and greenway as they participated in the third annual #WalkCLT powered by OrthoCarolina! This fun, family-friendly event invited residents and visitors to walk, rather than drive to destinations in their area by taking a map-guided twilight stroll. Following check-in at Recover Brands, participants were invited to explore special activities and deals at nearby destinations including Enderly Coffee, Town Brewing, Rhino Market & Deli, Charlotte Fencing Academy, American Burger Company, Pinky's Westside Grill, Crossfit QC, Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center, Can Do! Signs, KeenDog Training, and an after party at Blue Blaze Brewing!  #WalkCLT neighborhood explorers enjoyed a healthy walk and lots of fun stops! Continue reading

Speak up for public transit in NC!

Right now the draft state budget includes a provision that would make it impossible for any light rail projects to move forward in NC, by requiring that federal funding for a project be in place before a project can apply for state funds. One of the key requirements in applying and being approved for federal funding is that local and state funds have already been committed to a project, which makes this provision a deal-breaker for light rail projects statewide. As an organization that supports public transit expansion, Sustain Charlotte asks you to contact your Charlotte-area legislators and ask them to change this provision. Continue reading

Cycling advocates brave weather for Shifting Gears

Sustain Charlotte hosted our second Shifting Gears of 2018 on May 24th at Central Piedmont Community College.  The goal of Shifting Gears is for every participant to come away with one action item and one community contact to help them achieve their goal. Did you miss the workshop?  We have a summary for you right here! Continue reading

Leaders call for collaboration to expand regional transit network

"Build a system that works, and the riders will come." Keynote speaker John Martin from the Southeastern Institute of Research inspired attendees at the Regional Transit Summit last Thursday with a message of hope for the future of transit as our area struggles with accommodating the transportation needs of a growing population. He explained the transportation and lifestyle preferences of the various generations currently living in the United States, and emphasized the need to shift from talking about transit riders as a captive audience. "It's not about Transit Dependent. It's about Transit Empowered." In other words, when transit performs well compared to the choice of driving alone or using a ride-sharing service, people of all ages will choose to use it. Nowhere has this been more clear than in Seattle, where that city's investment in fast, frequent transit has led to a huge increase in the number of daily transit commuters.  Summit attendees raised their hands to express support for transit expansion!  Continue reading