Monday, March 3, 2014

Readers, this ball is in your court

Readers, engage! Two articles last week deserve wider play.

Honor the places you love

One is a way for everyone, not just planners, to honor the places they love in North Carolina.  Once again, the N.C. chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NC) is sponsoring a Great Places in North Carolina contest. Find more information here.

APA members can nominate places in a variety of categories, such as Great Places in the Making (downtown Gastonia won that one recently). Non-APA members this year can nominate a spot for the Great Public Place award, or the Great Main Street award. Then online voting taps the Peoples Choice Award for each of those categories.

As it happens, I've been asked to be on the panel of judges - as a non-planner - so please, give me a great group of nominations from which to choose. And don't forget, a street is part of the public realm and so it should qualify for Great Public Place. Queens Road West, anyone? Or Camden Road, outside of Price's Chicken Coop? 

Consider different growth scenarios

The second way for readers in the Charlotte region to get involved is a series of workshops scheduled for March by the CONNECT Our Future initiative, a 14-county, three-year planning effort being led by the Centralina Council of Governments. Read more about it here.

The workshops begin March 6 (Thursday) in Statesville. Charlotte's is March 7 (Friday) at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.  It's north of I-85, on Beatties Ford Road. (As you head that way, consider whether Beatties Ford Road has any spots eligible for Great Public Place. What about Five Points?)

Participants will hear about four different scenarios of the region's future, and the possible social, economic and environmental effects of each scenario. The four are: 1) continued suburban-form growth, 2) following current plans, 3) development of city centers and downtowns, and 4) regional transportation options.