Articles about Environment and Planning

[title_1]
Saving pollinators: The Great American Bee Count
   June 21, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

The plight of honeybees has been well documented in recent years – their steep decline due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and disease. The crisis has inspired many people to take up beekeeping in an effort to help stabilize bee populations. Even though honeybees aren’t native to the Americas – they arrived with European colonists in the 1600s – we have come...

Read more


[title_1]
Three key terms to understand in the 2040 plan
   June 9, 2021
Ely Portillo

For something that’s supposed to be a big-picture, high-level peek at the future, the Charlotte 2040 vision plan has gotten bogged down in the details since its debut last fall. 

After months of tense City Council meetings, contested straw votes, community and industry groups pushing for and against the plan, and...

Read more


[title_1]
Charlotte’s nowhere near the finish line for its development rules rewrite
   May 12, 2021
Ely Portillo

With straw votes on the controversial elements and the final adoption of Charlotte’s new vision plan looming in the next month, there’s a sense that the city’s reaching a finale in the years-long process of rewriting its development rules.

But adopting the vision plan might end up – surprisingly – being one of the easier parts of the whole process. That’s because after Charlotte City...

Read more


[title_1]
Growing up together: Charlotte, the Urban Institute and a time for change
   April 28, 2021
Jeff Michael

After 18 years as director of UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute, it’s time to move on. And it’s only appropriate that the same field that first introduced me to the institute’s work is now leading me away to a new chapter, serving as North Carolinas’ Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources....

Read more


[title_1]
Grissoms awarded Partners in Flight stewardship award
   April 26, 2021

Staff Reports

For over a decade, readers of the Urban Institute’s weekly e-newsletter have enjoyed the nature essays of Charlotte conservationist Ruth Ann Grissom, often inspired by the habitat restoration work that she and her sister Amy Grissom have been leading in the Uwharries, about an hour east of Charlotte. Now, an international...

Read more


[title_1]
A remarkable spring of hope
   April 23, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

What an amazing spring!  I’ve heard that sentiment from so many people. When a Facebook friend posted a video of the glorious purple and lilac azaleas across from the post office in Mt. Gilead, scores of people responded. I always enjoy the progression of wildflowers in forests of the Uwharries and in my own backyard, but this year has seemed extra special.

Read more


[title_1]
Single-family zoning is still the crux of Charlotte’s 2040 plan debate
   April 19, 2021
Ely Portillo

In the months since opposition to Charlotte’s new 2040 Comprehensive Vision Plan started building, staff and City Council have held forums, rehashed the plan in committee meetings, responded to hundreds of public comments and started tinkering with how to modify rules about what can be...

Read more


[title_1]
Advisory board suggests sharp increase for Meck parks funding
   April 14, 2021
Ely Portillo

As Mecklenburg County hammers out its budget priorities for the coming year, advocates for the park and recreation system are hoping to see a big funding increase.

At a presentation Tuesday, the Park & Recreation Commission, a citizen advisory board, suggested dramatically increasing funding for the county’s parks. That’s after Park & Recreation Director Lee Jones earlier this...

Read more


[title_1]
Report: Charlotte’s streets are dangerous for pedestrians
   March 30, 2021
Ely Portillo

It’s increasingly dangerous for people to walk in the Charlotte area, according to a new, annual report – a trend that’s mirrored in almost every city nationwide.

Dangerous by Design,” published by Smart Growth America, uses federal data to rank metro areas by pedestrian fatalities. The Charlotte region ranked as the 34...

Read more


[title_1]
The density & affordability question
   March 29, 2021
Jeff Michael

There’s been a noticeable shift in the debate about density in Charlotte’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan over recent weeks. What started as a classic confrontation of progressive planning concepts vs. NIMBY-inspired resistance, has now taken on a different tone, with...

Read more