Jan 09 2011
AP Environmental Science classes this past Thursday were able to have the privileged opportunity to listen to guest speaker, Garet Johnson of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department, about our Charlotte community. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Department’s mission is to provide integrated planning services that promote substantial growth to improve our community’s way of life with the cooperation of its citizens and being as environmentally friendly as well.
Credit: Mr. Willard
The Centers, Corridors and Wedges Growth Framework that Charlotte newly adopted in 2010 broadens the original transportation oriented focus to include other aspects of planning and development, such as public facility needs and environmental concerns. The update also provides more specific definitions and guidance for Centers and Corridors and expands the concept to provide recommendations for Wedges, as well.
The Centers, Corridors and Wedges Growth Framework will be used:
- As the basis for development of more detailed policies, plans and regulations
- To give broad guidance for infrastructure investment
- As a tool to evaluate Charlotte’s success in addressing growth issues
- It is a long-term growth strategy
- Focuses on five primary transportation and development corridors
- It also encourages redevelopment and reuse
Another notable factor in Charlotte’s growth is mass transportation, mainly the newly introduced Light Rail Transit. Along with the Light Rail Transit, there are also plans for Bus Rapid Transit (Curitiba), Streetcar/ Trolley, and Commuter Rail (DMU) in the future.
Growth Impact: With all growth and development, there are both positive and negative impacts. The most concerning impacts are to the air quality, water quality, and scarcity of land (open space, trees)
Group Activity: For our group activity, we were placed in groups of four and given two sites that we were the urban planners for to accommodate the greatest growth. We needed to take into consideration many factors for our decision making such as residential areas, environmentally friendly, close-by transit stations and industries, and so on. The objective was to maintain the greatest growth while using as much of the icons (Institutional, Parks/Open Space, Employment, Retail and Residential stickers) given to you at the start of the activity.
Credit: Mr. Willard
The Future: The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department has created a sustainable land use planning checklist to hopefully benefit Charlotte in the future.
- Use land efficiently
- Balance and integrate land uses
- Provide transportation choices
- Provide infrastructure to support development
- Respect the natural and social environment
- Design for quality
- Plan for the long term
Slides of the presentation can be found here.