Sustain Charlotte released its Charlotte 2030: A Sustainable Vision for Our Region report Monday at the corner of Trade and Tryon streets.
The location was intentional.
Shannon Binns, executive director of the nonprofit, noted early citizens of Charlotte signed the “Meck Dec” — an early version of the Declaration of Independence — at that crossroads in 1775.
“At that time, Charlotte’s citizens decided the status quo was not serving their community,” he said. “In other words, independent thinking is part of our history here in Charlotte. Innovation and a determination to lead is part of who we are” Binns said Charlotte 2030 is a declaration in the same spirit.
The public launch attracted a crowd of about 50, despite the chilly weather. A lineup of local politicos and community leaders in attendance helped. The speakers included Mayor Anthony Foxx, Mecklenburg County Commissioners Chairwoman Jennifer Roberts and Central Piedmont Community College Center for Sustainability Director Ernie McLaney.
All three had a hand in crafting Charlotte 2030, which evolved from an invitation-only forum in April. About 60 people representing business, academic, environmental and government organizations gathered at that event to brainstorm on a future vision for the Queen City.
The resulting recommendations are ambitious, even though the report is small. (It was released as a 10-page pamphlet printed on paper from Mohawk Fine Papers, which uses 100% post-consumer recycled fiber and 100% wind power.)
The document envisions a community where:
• Bus routes are expanded to run on a grid, in addition to the existing lines that radiate out from center city.
• Green roofs are the norm, not the exception.
• All economic-development plans promote sustainability.
• The region is known as a clean-energy capital, and each home is able to produce its own energy and sell what it doesn’t use.
• All event waste is recycled or composted, instead of being sent to a landfill.
• Every neighborhood has a community garden and provides composting sites for nearby homes and restaurants.
Binns says he’s working on distributing the report throughout the community and is scheduling workshops on specific areas in the Charlotte 2030 plan. To download the report, visit sustaincharlotte.org and click on the “resources” button.
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