ADVISORY: Sustain Charlotte To Honor 100 at 2015 Awards + Earth Day Celebration

On April 22nd (Earth Day), Sustain Charlotte will host their 4th annual celebration of sustainability leadership. 100 nominees representing a diverse cross section of Charlotte area businesses, nonprofits, neighborhood organizations, government agencies, and residents will be recognized. Awards will be presented to three organizations in each of eight categories: Land Use, Sustainable Economy, Energy, Food, Waste Reduction, Social Equity, Transportation, and Water.  Also, three individuals will be recognized as Outstanding Leaders. Information about all nominees can be found at: www.sustaincharlotte.org/2015nominees Tickets are still available to the public and include two complimentary drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres from ten of the area's finest farm-to-fork restaurants including Kindred, Heirloom, littleSpoon, Block & Grinder, Heritage, Passion8, Fork!, ModPaleo, Pure Pizza, and Zone 7 Foods. This is an official Earth Day event recognized by the Earth Day Network and one of the largest Earth Day event in Charlotte with 200-250 attendees expected.  Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter, Charlotte City Council Members Alvin Austin, LaWana Mayfield, and Vi Lyles, and Mecklenburg County Commissioners Pat Cotham and Trevor Fuller are expected to attend.  Terri Bennett, Co-Founder of Do Your Part® with serve as Master of Ceremonies. Please visit: www.sustaincharlotte.org/awards for more event details. WHEN: Wednesday, April 22, 5:30 - 8:30 pm WHERE: The Historic Palmer Building, 2601 E. 7th St, Charlotte   ### ABOUT SUSTAIN CHARLOTTE Sustain Charlotte is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, engaging and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges. We inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come.  For more information about Sustain Charlotte, visit www.sustaincharlotte.org or contact branyn.calegar@sustaincharlotte.org / (919) 824-4301.  

Stacked City: Real Estate 2015

By Jonathan Cox (Charlotte Magazine) Home sales are down, rental prices are up, and everywhere you look in South End, a new apartment complex is rising. Charlotte is finally attracting legions of young professionals to its urban center, but that means some families are fleeing to the outskirts of town. The latest real estate boom raises an old question: Will we grow up, or out?... Shannon Binns, head of the nonprofit group Sustain Charlotte, says that retail often follows residential. But he cautions that the city and developers need to make smart choices now to ensure there is enough space for stores once the apartments are built. “Once the densities are up and retail wants to enter the market,” he says, “it will be tough for them to find a place if our buildings don’t accommodate it.” Read the full article here. 

Executive Director of Sustain Charlotte, Shannon Binns, receives one of Charlotte Business Journal's 22nd annual Forty Under 40 awards

By Staff (Charlotte Business Journal) The Forty Under 40 awards program recognizes some of the Charlotte area's best and brightest young professionals for the strides they are making in their careers as well as their civic contributions. Sustain Charlotte's founder and Executive Director, Shannon Binns received a 40 under 40 award for his recent accomplishments: Greatest business accomplishment of the past year: Launching the Transportation Choices Alliance and its website (MoveCharlotteSmarter.org) to increase transportation choices and to improve traffic, air quality, public health, mobility and the economy Greatest civic accomplishment of the past year: Directing the research, writing and distribution of the 2014 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sustainability Report Card, which assesses our progress on 57 indicators of community sustainability and includes 94 recommendations Read more here about his accomplishments, and why he was chosen for a 40 under 40 award. Click here to read more about Charlotte Business Journal's 22nd annual Forty Under 40 awards event  

Seven to Watch: Think long term, says Sustain Charlotte leader

By Bruce Henderson (Charlotte Observer) Shannon Binns says he wasn't looking for a job when he started Sustain Charlotte, the nonprofit group that promotes long-term thinking in the city. Trained as an industrial engineer, Binns quickly found he wasn't cut out for cubicle life.  “I definitely see myself as a social entrepreneur,” he said. “I like to think I sort of inherited that from my grandfather,” who started an explosives firm. In Charlotte, Binns sensed an opportunity in 2010. Read more  

Charlotte's first edible walkway is planted

by Keia Mastrianni (Creative Loafing) The historic Wilmore neighborhood made history on Saturday as the first neighborhood in Charlotte to plant an edible walkway at the intersection of Mint Street and Kingston Avenue. In a most excellent display of community, Wilmore residents, church members of Calvary United Methodist (the church that owns the property where the walkway is planted) and sustainably minded Charlotteans gathered together on a chilly Saturday morning to plant fruit and nut trees that will one day bear fruit for all of its residents to eat. Read the full article here.

Sustain Charlotte 'Six Stories': Why I ride the bus and train

by Jonathan Cox (Davidson News) Today brings the third installment of Sustain Charlotte’s six-part video series telling the story of a different public transit rider in and around Charlotte. The bus riders interviewed in the video series include a banking executive, high school community volunteer, visually-impaired woman, senior citizen, small business owner, and immigrant mother. Shannon Binns, executive director of Sustain Charlotte, said the six-part video series is aimed at debunking myths about public transportation: “Some people hold stereotypes that only people of low income use public transport,” Binns said, “and we wanted to explode that myth.” Read the full article here. 

Cycling gets easier in a handful of Charlotte neighborhoods

by Emiene Wright (Creative Loafing Charlotte) More bike racks are coming to a community near you. A simple metal rack holding five to 10 bikes may not sound like news, but the effects could improve the future of transportation in Charlotte. Continue reading

Uptown Charlotte construction is roaring back. Can demand keep up?

by Eric Frazier (Charlotte Observer) Some 28 cranes towered over construction sites around uptown Charlotte in 2008, but they became a rare sight as the recession ground development to a halt. Today, the cranes are rising again in the city’s center. Continue reading

Sustain Charlotte video: Why I take the bus and train

by Jonathan Cox (Davidson News) Starting today, and each of the next five Fridays, nonprofit Sustain Charlotte is releasing the story of a different public transit rider in and around Charlotte.  Read the full article here. 

Environmentalists protest last-minute changes to stormwater rules

by Steve Harrison (Charlotte Observer) Some environmentalists are upset at last-minute changes to a city ordinance passed Monday that will allow developers to continue to pay a fee instead of storing and cleaning stormwater on-site. The City Council approved a three-year extension for the waivers by a 7-4 vote Monday night. Shannon Binns is executive director of the group Sustain Charlotte, which lobbied the City Council against making the waiver citywide. If he had been allowed to speak Monday, Binns said he would have told council members the issue had already been studied in detail in 2008, when the policy was first enacted. He said he felt the prospect of additional meetings would put environmental groups at a disadvantage. Read the full article here.