Martin Zimmerman


Martin is an urban planner, architect, freelance journalist and principal of City Wise Studio USA, a copy writing, copy editing and communications firm. He has published hundreds of articles and reviews on urban development topics in the Washington TimesAtlanta Journal-ConstitutionUrban Land.orgAPA PlanningBlueprints Journal of the National Building Museumthe Charlotte Observer, Build a Better, and other print and on-line media. He has served as the first architect to lead the Office of Facilities Planning for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1992-2001) during a period of unprecedented growth for the campus. As ED for the Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance (2003-2012), he campaigned to redirect the arc of Charlotte's travel culture. Martin is member of Sustain Charlotte's Transportation Choices Alliance, the advisory board to Bike Walk NC, and the ;Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. He travels frequently to cities in the USA, Canada and abroad in search of urban innovation models. His vehicle​ of choice has two wheels and a bell​.

Stories by Martin Zimmerman

Mobilizing for climate change: Evaluating the Strategic Energy Action Plan, two years in

Contributing writer Martin Zimmerman interviews Sarah Hazel, recently appointed as Chief Sustainability & Resiliency Officer for the city of Charlotte.

NoDa perceived: past, present and future of a mill village

Not that long ago, a few aging blocks in a declining, working-class neighborhood revived from the dust and grit of the textile mill era as Charlotte’s  home-grown arts district.

Can Charlotte’s auto-dependency be cured? Planners launch Strategic Mobility Plan

The heightened attention to COVID-19 aftershocks has not  distracted  local planners from tackling related issues that beg for solutions.

Trains, buses and people: More lessons for Charlotte

In his recent book, Trains, Buses, People – An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit, Christof Spieler dispenses a refreshly forthright  assessment of 47 of America’s larger systems, including Miami,...

Book review: Can we fix our struggling bus systems?

There’s been a lot of discussion lately within transit planning circles about how to attract customers to ailing regional bus networks that connect core cities, nearby towns, and far-flung suburbs —...