CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 29, 2009) – Charlotte Center City Partners,
in collaboration with the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County,
today announced plans to create the Center City 2020 Vision Plan that
will guide the growth and development of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s urban
core over the next decade. Nationally-recognized urban planning and
design experts MIG, based in Berkeley, California, will lead the team
that also includes three Charlotte firms: urban designers Cole Jenest
and Stone, marketing communications firm Wray Ward, and transportation
consultant Kimley-Horn & Associates.
The plan’s study area will include Uptown as well as the neighborhoods just outside the I-277 loop. “We want to recommend ways that these neighborhoods should generally be developed, enhanced and strengthened as part of our urban core. We want to specifically look at how they can be better connected to Uptown and to each other,” said Debra Campbell, Director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission.
The 2020 Vision Plan process will be advised by a newly-created steering committee. Co-chaired by community leaders Harvey Gantt and Ann Caulkins, the committee will suggest and review recommendations related to the design, growth and development of Charlotte’s Center City.
“Center City is integral to the economic and cultural vibrancy of all of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and benefits all who live in our region,” Gantt said. “We’re pleased to partner with MIG, whose strategic planning approach and highly collaborative process will allow all of our community’s residents to have a voice in this ten-year vision.”
MIG will also facilitate three community workshops, the first of which is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 21, 5:30 p.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center. Two additional workshops will be held in spring and summer 2010.
"We are excited and honored to assist the Charlotte community in charting its course for an even more dynamic and vibrant 21st century Center City,” said Dr. Daniel Iacofano, MIG founding principal with more than 25 years of experience in urban planning and community design. “Authentic, meaningful community participation and engagement – that builds consensus and truly reflects the visions and desires of Charlotteans – will be essential to the plan’s success. The 2020 Vision Plan must be a roadmap for the future developed by the people of Charlotte.”
In addition to the workshops, the 2020 Vision Plan community engagement process will encourage citizens to use online portals, social media and other communications tools to input their ideas for land use, neighborhood development, transportation and mobility, and environmental initiatives. The consultant team hopes that citizens will also help them formulate ideas for how Charlotte’s Center City can become a more memorable place of distinct neighborhoods connected by unique infrastructure.
Since 1966, similar plans have guided development in Charlotte’s Uptown and Center City including the need for a convention center, the creation of the Uptown Mixed Use Development ordinance, development of an NFL stadium, and the need for on-street parking and pedestrian-friendly streets. The Center City 2010 Vision Plan called for pedestrian-friendly streets, mixed use growth, and a commitment to architecture of the highest standard. It highlighted several projects, including the acquisition of land for new parks in First and Third Wards, the development of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway, and redevelopment of the former convention center as a mixed-use site.
“The Charlotte-Mecklenburg community is a better place to live because of the region’s commitment to citizen-driven, long-range planning processes such as the 2020 Vision Plan.,” said Michael Smith, president and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, whose mission is to facilitate and promote the economic and cultural development of Center City, which includes Uptown and its surrounding neighborhoods.