Contributing writer Martin Zimmerman interviews Sarah Hazel, recently appointed as Chief Sustainability & Resiliency Officer for the city of Charlotte.
Sarah Hazel comes to the...
Neighborhood activists fighting to preserve single-family-only neighborhoods, Charlotte City Council members worried about gentrification overwhelming historically Black neighborhoods and developers who want to stop any notion of new regulations like inclusionary zoning don’t often end up on the same side of an issue.
But that’s the case in Charlotte, where concerns about the city’s...Read more
Back in late 2019 – before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the world – it looked like 2020 would be the year for plans to guide our community’s growth for the next several decades would coalesce.
What happened? Well, the pandemic, of course. But a couple of key plans have also run into deeper issues, illustrating some of the difficulties in planning for future decades in a fast...Read more
Down the middle of Hawthorne Lane at the corner of East 8th Street, the dust is just settling on the new LYX Gold Line Extension tracks. When the line opens later this year, it will be the first time a streetcar has rumbled down this block since 1938.
Still, the legacy of that old streetcar era is written all over the Elizabeth neighborhood in the preserved stone-arch shelters and tree...Read more
My husband and I recently hiked the Birkhead Trail, starting at Tot Hill Road for the first time since that section was hit by a wind storm in June 2019. Hundreds – perhaps thousands – of mature trees were snapped or uprooted along the trail. I hate to see a mature hardwood forest in the Uwharries suffer such extensive damage. It will take a century to replace those massive oaks. As I trudged...Read more
Charlotte City Council members confronted an uncomfortable question Monday: How can you get people in the general public to pay attention to technical, somewhat boring, but extremely important matters like the city’s new development rules – before a major controversy erupts?
Planning staff are nearing the finish line for Charlotte’s...Read more
When the moving truck pulled up to the Dilworth duplex we’d been renting for years, I felt more than a twinge of regret to be leaving the urban amenities I’d come to love.
Living within a short walk of two supermarkets, plentiful coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and some of Charlotte’s best parks was a fantastic convenience. But after nearly a decade in Dilworth, three different...Read more
Which Charlotte neighborhoods have gotten denser, with more residences per acre? Where have average home sizes ballooned? Is the proportion of single-family homes rising or falling in neighborhoods where new apartments and tear-downs vie for space?
Newly updated maps on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Quality of Life Explorer allow you to probe these...Read more
A few minutes after noon on a recent Friday, a single customer waited for lunch at the Halal food cart parked on the sidewalk at Trade and Tryon streets.
A couple of workers in construction vests and a handful of security guards were the only other people in the plaza. The lunchtime crowd that would normally fill the streets with office workers taking the chance to stretch their legs...Read more
I’ll never again look at a city’s Main Street the same way. In Mindy Thompson Fullilove’s newest book, Main Street: How a City’s Heart Connects Us All, she does something relatively rare for books about urban issues.
Some focus on cities’ physical attributes, such as low-density single-family sprawl, building design, street...Read more