Bilingual food tours, immersive experiences of Charlotte as a visually impaired or homeless person, strolls through cemeteries, public art and mural exlporations, visits to historic neighborhoods and connections with new people: All that and more was on tap at Charlotte City Walks this year.
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute organized a record number of free walking and biking tours last month that highlighted the diversity of Charlotte neighborhoods. The 40 tours took place in neighborhoods such as University City, NoDa, Uptown, South End, Historic Wilmore, Cherry, Belmont, Plaza Midwood, McCrorey Heights, Biddlesville, Commonwealth-Morningside and Historic Camp Greene.
In addition to walks exploring history and culture, there were many new and more immersive walks offered this year. Participants took part in walk “experiences,” such as the ones provided by Metrolina Association for the Blind and Urban Ministry Center, that focused on helping people better understand what it’s like to be in other resident’s shoes. Also for the first time this year, Charlotte City Walks offered several bilingual tours, in Spanish and English, to help residents explore the city’s growing diversity.
This year walk leaders shared stories about the neighborhoods in which they live, work and play, while walk participants also shared stories of their own and added to the dialogue fostered. Charlotte City Walks provided more opportunities for participants to connect and continue their conversations after the walk, with 12 post-walk receptions held this year. Participants were able to enjoy food and refreshments and build relationships with other individuals on the tour.
We look forward to another successful walk season next year as we continue to explore the richness of Charlotte.
By the Numbers
Walks organized (up from 27 in 2018)
Volunteer walk leaders
Attendees (up from 527 in 2018)