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Kaid Benfield’s Blog

More on Charlotte's urban renaissance, stimulated by transit

Kaid Benfield

Posted January 9, 2009

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Back in October, I wrote about the who-would-have-predicted-it greening of Charlotte, for decades North Carolina's notorious bastion of sprawl.  But, as the articles I referenced then indicated, there's plenty of evidence. 

And now there is a great narrated slide show from our good friends and frequent partners at Reconnecting America, discussing how this is manifesting on the ground, along with a rich historical context.  RA's Jeff Wood explains directly and through interviews with locals how the city's trolley and light rail have helped the rebirth of uptown (what other cities call "downtown"), arists' studios, and residential neighborhoods. 

The Queen City is now a model for what to do and how.  Our blogging software isn't allowing me to embed or link this in the normal way, but the image below (courtesy Reconnecting America) is the opening slide and you can go here to enjoy the presentation:

(image courtesy of Reconnecting America)


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Julie WaltersJan 9 2009 07:14 PM

Forget Charlotte--they are already moving forward. Have a look at the Miami Dade County sprawl-Broward County too---No planning whatsoever. Driving for miles along the I-95 corridor from Miami to the north, the east-west streets and roads are filled with derelict buildings, fringed by single family residences stretching for miles, punctuated by mile after mile of one-story strip shopping, divided by the interspersed streets, half-occupied, vacant lots in between, filled with trash,--- with all this urban blight, Developers and WalMart are trying to break further into the Everglades, claiming they need to service the communities which have pushed further and further to the west. They should instead look to these fringe neighborhoods for development opportunity--of course, the State should be offering development grants or stimulus to clean up these areas instead of chewing up more greenspace which could help protect what is left of the Everglades. I'm with NRDC too--Please help Florida see the light.

Dave ReidJan 10 2009 12:04 AM

If there has ever been a city that proves how well TOD can work it must be Charlotte, NC. I drove the line last year just before it opened and I was amazed to see the developments that quite clearly were designed to work with the new line. Further Charlotte seemed to "get it" as they appeared to be upzoning all along the line.

Here are a couple of my picks of the Blue Line.

And this last photo which was taken right next to the crossing shown in picture 1.

How about that for a little TOD?

Kaid @ NRDCJan 12 2009 11:28 AM

Great photos, Dave!

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