1 October Dear Citizens of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County,

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3 1 October 2011 Dear Citizens of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, As co-chairs of the Center City 2020 Vision Plan Steering Committee, we are proud to present the Center City 2020 Vision Plan, which sets forth the next chapter in Charlotte s notable planning history. Center City experienced unprecedented growth during the past decade, which was guided by Vision Plans dating back to the 1966 Odell Plan. The new Enduring Vision of the 2020 Vision Plan to become a viable, livable, memorable and sustainable Center City will advance this effort and guide growth and development over the next ten to thirty years. As the 2020 Vision Plan s goals and recommendations are implemented, the creation of new jobs will be promoted, Charlotte s unique tapestry of neighborhoods will be celebrated and strengthened, investment in 21st century infrastructure will be encouraged, and the natural environment will be preserved and enhanced. We are indebted to the community for having been an integral part in the creation of this 2020 Vision Plan. The ideas and feedback received through numerous public workshops made this much more than a community input process, but rather a community building endeavor. For this dedication to all of our futures, we thank you. Producing this 2020 Vision Plan shows we intend to remain competitive in the global marketplace and proclaims that Charlotte is ready to move forward, even during tough economic times. The goals and recommendations of this 2020 Vision Plan represent a responsive and positive vision for the future of Charlotte s Center City. Sincerely, 2020 Vision Plan Steering Committee Co-Chairs Ann Caulkins Harvey Gantt

4 contents chapter 1: introduction... page 1 chapter 2: vision framework... page 19 chapter 3: transformative strategies... page 27 placemaking and urban design... page 31 applied innovation corridor... page 43 center city urban campus... page 53 destination charlotte... page 61 neighborhoods of center city... page 71 network of parks, open space and recreation... page 79 dynamic shopping experience... page 89 integrated transportation network... page 99 chapter 4: focus areas... page 109 stonewall/i page 113 ballpark neighborhood... page 121 north tryon... page 128 charlotte transportation center... page 134 west trade corridor... page 140 south end... page 149 chapter 5: implementation... page 155 appendix A: summary of community visioning... page 165 appendix B: acknowledgements... page 171

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6 appendix A: summary of community visioning appendix A: summary of community visioning The 2020 Vision Plan included a visioning and goal setting phase in fall 2009 that focused on studying the existing assets, challenges and opportunities of Center City and gathering input from members of the public, stakeholders, and community and business leaders. The following pages serve as a summary of the community engagement efforts that focused on visioning and goal setting. In October 2009, the project team hosted a community workshop that engaged more than 400 community members. Workshop participants were provided an introduction to the project and project team, a presentation of the planning process, project schedule and community engagement opportunities. The following ideas and elements were highlighted in the presentation given by urban design consultant Daniel Iacofano, Principal at MIG, Inc.: Assets and Accomplishments Charlotte s role as a regional center and Center City as a major destination within Greater Charlotte Charlotte s colleges and universities Attractions such as Lowe s Motor Speedway, Time Warner Cable Arena and Mint Museum of Art LYNX Blue Line light rail system and other public transit Quality of public plazas, parks and open spaces Charlotte s history, arts, culture and food Issues and Opportunities Charlotte s role as a regional employment center Using transit-oriented design to improve livability and accessibility of neighborhoods and urban core Following the presentation, MIG, Inc. facilitated a discussion around what workshop participants perceived as Center City Charlotte s primary assets, challenges it currently faces, and the opportunities and vision for the future of Center City. The following summarizes that discussion: Assets Culture and Entertainment food, restaurants, music, theaters, museums, churches, sporting venues, seasonal festivals Parks and Open Space 4th Ward Park, Irwin Greenway, Frazier Park and other quality spaces for play and family gatherings Urban Design Tryon Street, Spirit Square, inspiring streetscapes, street trees, cleanliness Economic Development cultural and entertainment destinations that promote business investment, overall affordability, employment opportunities in banking and emerging sectors, strength of civic leadership Strategic retail investment that makes the shopping experience distinct and competitive Interest in energizing the Charlotte skyline with iconic architecture Upgrading streets and pedestrian connections to improve quality of life and reduce traffic Transportation growing role of public transit in making Center City livable and accessible, infrastructure that improves pedestrian safety. Participants providing comments at the fall 2009 visioning workshop. Development of sustainable infrastructure 166

7 appendix A: summary of community vision workshops Challenges CONNECTIVITY Some neighborhoods lack connectivity to the vibrancy of Center City Traffic and parking facilities dominate the street experience and make walking and biking unsafe ECONOMIC DIVERSITY Need to create jobs and employment opportunities for people with diverse backgrounds, educations and skill levels Limited retail choices in Center City due to strong competition from suburban shopping centers High taxes that discourage small business STREET ACTIVITY Lack of well-designed public gathering spaces along vibrant streets in Center City Oversupply of on-street parking discourages streetlevel retail Unmet need for food-focused retail in Center City, including farmer s markets Opportunities and Vision INCREASING CONNECTIVITY Better walking and bicycling facilities will improve access to Center City and surrounding neighborhoods A series of community workshops for the 2020 Vision Plan were held at the Charlotte Convention Center throughout the planning process. LIVABILITY Gathering and public spaces are important to the community Center City lacks enough centrally located park space Public transit can be used to spur development in disparate parts of Center City Major barriers to Center City connectivity, such as the I-277 loop, should be addressed with improved access to existing and proposed green spaces Needed investment in Center City schools Lack of affordable housing and presence of homeless in Center City Transit development for the North Line, streetcar, and airport link Residents of Charlotte arriving for the visioning workshop at the Charlotte Convention Center. 167

8 appendix A: summary of community visioning ENHANCING NEIGHBORHOOD IDENTITY 168 Enhancing neighborhood identity and main streets with historic features and iconic architecture Need to redevelop Center City s historic wards and other West End neighborhoods Emphasis on the city s history and preservation of historic buildings Developing design guidelines and progressive zoning controls that promote neighborhood identity Adding water features to plazas, parks and other public spaces Promoting street markets and adding ground-floor retail IMPROVING THE LOCAL ECONOMY As a growing regional center, Center City Charlotte is well-positioned to create job opportunities and spur business development At the third community workshop, participants engaged in multiple conversations to learn about and provide feedback on plan recommendations. Attracting new retail into Center City that is distinct from suburban retail offerings Promoting and attracting small and local businesses while continuing to support larger companies and sectors like banking PROMOTING SUSTAINABILITY AND LIVABILITY Improving air and water quality, adding parks and green spaces Improving safety and decreasing crime in Center City Reducing unutilized surface parking and motor vehicle traffic in Center City Making Center City family friendly and welcoming to children Promoting transparency in decision-making and planning Increasing access to health care and public education Feedback during the open discussion portion of the workshop was captured on a large wall graphic at the front of the room. A reduced version of this wall graphic is included on the following page for reference. Attendees shared opinions in person using microphones and Post-It notes, at video-voice booths and by using social media outlets such as Twitter, facebook and via CLT Blog. Two additional community workshops were held throughout the remainder of the planning and design process. The second community workshop provided an opportunity for participants to review and provide feedback on the draft vision, goals and overall plan framework. The project team provided an overview of the planning process to date and a summary of the analysis and strategy developed after the visioning workshop. A facilitated large group discussion provided the community an interactive forum in which to discuss the plan and provide input at a critical juncture in the planning process. A final community workshop provided community members the opportunity to review the Transformative Strategies and Focus Area concepts. A large group discussion and small group exercises allowed workshop participants to directly impact the recommendations included in the draft and final 2020 Vision Plan. Conclusion The visioning workshop was a successful first step in learning what the Charlotte community envisions for the future of Center City. Feedback received from the workshop, comment cards, and blog posts helped to develop a plan that reflects the great potential of Uptown, Center City and Greater Charlotte. Subsequent workshops tested vision concepts and ideas while further input was gathered via a series of working group meetings, stakeholder interviews, neighborhood meetings and information booths.

9 appendix A: summary of community vision workshops A wall graphic produced during the October 2009 community visioning workshop was used to record feedback from participants. 169

10 appendix A: summary of community visioning Community visioning workshop volunteers and facilitators. 170

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