Articles about Environment and Planning

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What a 1944 call for planning can teach us today
   January 6, 2021
Ely Portillo

Almost eight decades ago, Charlotte had just topped 100,000 residents, World War II raged, legal segregation was the law of the land and most of Mecklenburg County was still farmland.

But despite the obvious differences from today, an urgent call in 1944 for the city to develop a plan to manage its growth still resonates in Charlotte, a city that’s long been convinced it was headed for...

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How to get outside in difficult weather conditions
   January 5, 2021
Crystal Cockman

In addition to everything else in 2020, we had more than our fair share of rain. In fact, by early November we had already seen 53 inches of rain in the Triad region of North Carolina, which is well over a foot above our normal rain level for an average year. Charlotte received almost 59 inches of rain in 2020, far above average as well.

For someone who enjoys outdoor recreation as a...

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Introducing 'Future Charlotte,' a podcast about our city's growth
   January 4, 2021
Ely Portillo

Charlotte is a city with growth embedded in its DNA, a community where striving to be "world-class" has both propelled us forward and papered over many disparities just beneath the surface. 

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Keeping a garden journal in 2021
   January 4, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

The end of the year is a natural time for reflection, but does anyone really want to dwell on 2020? I imagine we’re all yearning for the chance to move forward, to put that dreadful year behind us, make a fresh start and take charge of our lives.

In 2021, my resolution is to keep a garden journal. I don’t aim to become an obsessive record-keeper like Thomas Jefferson. A weekly, or even...

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Finding promise in the pain, and looking ahead to 2021
   December 22, 2020
Jeff Michael

If we’re being completely honest, those of us who sat down this year to write traditional end-of-year reflections struggled to find something positive to say. I certainly did. Whether an organizational newsletter or a family’s holiday greeting card, it seemed the best one could say about 2020 is that it’s finally over.

However, as I waded through the fog of daily COVID updates and...

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Hope is the thing with leaves
   December 3, 2020
Ruth Ann Grissom

Imagine what it would be like to help establish a brand new national park. One that would be larger than the combined acreage of the Everglades, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Teton, Canyonlands, Mount Ranier, North Cascades, Badlands, Olympic, Sequoia, Grand Canyon, Denali and Great Smoky Mountains. One that would be spread uniformly across the country instead of being sequestered out west. One...

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An ocean bird pays an unexpected visit to Stanly County
   November 13, 2020
Ruth Ann Grissom

My sister and I once decided it would be a fine idea to tour the Mojave Desert in May. Being hard-headed women from the Uwharries, we forged ahead even after the Santa Ana winds kicked up and pushed temperatures into triple digits. The heat made for a memorable, if sometimes freakish, trip. Along the way, we crossed paths with a dude who looked like an Elvis impersonator, a randy bighorn sheep...

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Small towns like Badin have lessons for big cities like Charlotte
   November 5, 2020
Jeff Michael

As Charlotte continues its quest to become a more urban and cosmopolitan city, is it possible that the small towns and former mill villages dotting the land around Charlotte have something to teach us about how to solve some of the biggest and most pressing needs facing our big cities and suburbs today?

Bill Fulton, Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University...

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A glimpse at Charlotte’s future from a piece of the past
   November 2, 2020
Ely Portillo

It probably wasn’t the setting Charlotte planners would have picked to unveil their vision for the future: A parking lot off Independence Boulevard, acres of scarred asphalt surrounded by a tangle of some of the city’s least pedestrian-friendly streets. 

But in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, an in-person event at a densely packed brewery along the light rail or in a tower...

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Students rethink how and what we memorialize
   November 2, 2020

Meg Whalen

“Not many events inspire our historical imagination and force us to critically think about our past the way a falling monument does.”

Associate Professor of Sculpture Marek Ranis, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain in communist Poland, has seen monuments go up and come down in countries like his homeland. But the intense evaluation of monuments in the United States –  what they tell...

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