Martin Zimmerman

City Wise Studio USA
Director

Biography

Martin is a registered architect, city planner and urban journalist. As Director of City Wise Studio USA, he consults and writes about smart growth, multi-modal transportation, and proactive responses to the climate change crisis. Martin's articles and reviews have appeared in UrbanLand.org, the Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Agenda, APA Planning, Landscape Architecture, Blueprints Journal of the National Building Museum, and other media outlets.

As the first architect to lead the Office of Facilities Planning for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1992-2001), Martin helped guide its transition from car-centric to urban and linked to the city core by light rail transit. As executive director of the Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance (2003-2012), he worked in tandem with Mayor Pat McCrory and his successor, Anthony Foxx, to further redirect the arc of Charlotte's travel culture. 

Martin is affiliated with the Land Use Advisory Committee of Sustain Charlotte, the Char-Meck Climate Leaders group, the League of American Bicyclists and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. He travels frequently to major cities in the USA, Canada and abroad in search of low carbon innovations for city living. His zero-carbon vehicle of choice has two wheels and a bell. 

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Articles

  • plancharlotte.org
    Feb 10, 2020
    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, Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Dallas and other Sun Belt cities. Never before has a publication compared this many cities and transit modes for a mainstream audience. Research included photographs at all locations and interviews with agency staff, elected officials, and advocates. The final product is compressed into a digestible format of full-page maps, abundant infographics and the author’s informed commentary.  Spieler’s opinions derive from several complex factors: political dynamics, funding challenges, planning dilemmas, land use constraints, ridership fluctuations, and conceptual biases all come into play.  He reveals a few winners, but also a lot of losers. Charlotte hovers precariously in between.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Feb 10, 2020
    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, Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Dallas and other Sun Belt cities. Never before has a publication compared this many cities and transit modes for a mainstream audience. Research included photographs at all locations and interviews with agency staff, elected officials, and advocates. The final product is compressed into a digestible format of full-page maps, abundant infographics and the author’s informed commentary.  Spieler’s opinions derive from several complex factors: political dynamics, funding challenges, planning dilemmas, land use constraints, ridership fluctuations, and conceptual biases all come into play.  He reveals a few winners, but also a lot of losers. Charlotte hovers precariously in between.
  • plancharlotte.org
    Nov 22, 2019
    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 — including the Charlotte Area Transit System. A handful of bus systems have actually grown, such as Austin, Houston and especially Seattle. But overall, the prognosis for bus ridership is grim.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Nov 22, 2019
    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 — including the Charlotte Area Transit System. A handful of bus systems have actually grown, such as Austin, Houston and especially Seattle. But overall, the prognosis for bus ridership is grim.
  • plancharlotte.org
    Jul 31, 2019
    Since City Council approved TOD Article 15 - the new Transit-Oriented Development ordinance - last April, land use consultants, architects, real estate attorneys and other insiders have had ample opportunity to sort out these new rules. As for laypersons, gleaning what they need to know from TOD’s eighty-one page assemblage of definitions, rules, standards, charts and graphics can be a real challenge, despite efforts by staff planners to make the document as jargon-free and user-friendly as possible. 
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Jul 31, 2019
    Since City Council approved TOD Article 15 - the new Transit-Oriented Development ordinance - last April, land use consultants, architects, real estate attorneys and other insiders have had ample opportunity to sort out these new rules. As for laypersons, gleaning what they need to know from TOD’s eighty-one page assemblage of definitions, rules, standards, charts and graphics can be a real challenge, despite efforts by staff planners to make the document as jargon-free and user-friendly as possible. 
  • plancharlotte.org
    Sep 25, 2018
    What with Lyft, Uber, dockless bike-share and electric scooters, urban travel is changing. Even the basic notion of a parking deck now gets more scrutiny. Commentary.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Sep 25, 2018
    What with Lyft, Uber, dockless bike-share and electric scooters, urban travel is changing. Even the basic notion of a parking deck now gets more scrutiny. Commentary.
  • plancharlotte.org
    Jun 19, 2018
    Charlotte first adopted a greenhouse gas emission reduction resolution in 2007.  Now, 11 years later, the City Council is considering a new resolution to move the initiative ahead.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Jun 19, 2018
    Charlotte first adopted a greenhouse gas emission reduction resolution in 2007.  Now, 11 years later, the City Council is considering a new resolution to move the initiative ahead.