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A case for optimism: Charlotteans envision life in 2020 by Nheeda Enriquez
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Though I’m still new to Charlotte, I’ve been energized by some civic events lately, most recently with Center City Partners’ visioning workshop at the Convention Center.  It was the first of 3 community workshops, inviting citizens to give input to city leaders on how to transform Charlotte by 2020.

Beyond the topic itself, I really enjoyed with the structure of the workshop.  The consulting group (MIG) and project leaders provided multiple ways to take part: via Post-It notes and comment cards, through verbal feedback, and even through streaming video and social media, thanks to the CLTblog folks.  They visualized comments and ideas on a large mural, which I know from facilitating ideation sessions, keeps folks engaged and contributing.  The meeting ended with a survey called an “Idea Lab” where we voted on 20+ concepts using green, yellow, and red sheets of paper, a method I’ve seen to evaluate product designs and even election debates, but it was neat to see it used as a temperature gauge for urban planning.   It all made for an optimistic night, where we felt free to think about positive change for a few hours.

I wish that more citizens came out to participate, particularly those with more diverse viewpoints outside of Uptown.  Though I’m a big fan of green spaces and walkable cities, I’m sure that there are others who could make the case for investing in other kinds of projects.

Follow all the action on Charlotte 2020 here.  I understand the survey and all the presentation materials will be available on the site soon.


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This post was mentioned on Twitter by nheedaenriquez: feeling optimistic after last night’s #clt2020 visioning workshop: http://wp.me/pwl89-cB

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It a shame that this type of planning is not done early on. I know this is not possible for big cities but there are many communities and suburbs that are developing now with no planning or for thought. Usually the argument is that there is no money available for free space, but if money and or land was set aside as part of the developers agreement, this would not be an issue.
As for Post-it notes, is there anything they can’t do!

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