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2017 Mobile Workshops in Charlotte

Take a “field trip” around Charlotte and get ideas from this exciting city that you can replicate in your own community. These are conference workshops that take place at various sites around the city, with transportation provided from the convention center. They’re included in the registration fee, but you’ll need to sign up to reserve your spot since space is limited. Register on the conference registration site.

Mobile workshops are offered on Wednesday morning, Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning during the conference.

Wednesday, November 15

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Mobile Workshop – Coming Together for Crime Reduction

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Visit the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD)’s Real-Time Crime Center to learn how the CMPD leverages technology, automated license plate readers, electronic monitoring, and other innovative solutions. Meet with law enforcement officials and discuss the use of criminal intelligence and crime analysis as an integral component of crime reduction.

Then travel to the Charlotte Police & Fire Training Academy to tour of facility and learn the techniques used to train both new recruits and seasoned officers.

Type: Bus and walking tour

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Mobile Workshop – Extreme Makeover: From Mall to Metropolitan

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See the dramatic transformation of Charlotte’s first enclosed mall into a thriving mixed-use center with condos, restaurants and offices totaling almost one million square feet. Learn how the city and county worked together with the private sector to improve infrastructure and intersections, and even to uncover a previously piped-in stream to build a beautiful greenway. This 14-acre site now includes a 93,000 square-foot high-rise tower that achieved LEED Silver certification from the Green Building Certification Institute for its sustainable construction and energy efficient systems.

Type: Bus and walking tour

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Mobile Workshop – Hand in Hand Together: Charlotte’s Creative Neighborhood Improvement Model

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The City of Charlotte’s Neighborhood Matching Grants program provides financial and technical support to create sustainable public/private partnerships, build neighborhood capacity, and support quality of life improvements in low to moderate income neighborhoods.

Learn how this program engages residents to select projects and allocate funding, and see several completed projects.

The final route and stops are being planned, but they are expected to be among the following:

  • Druid Hills park improvements, including community garden and adult fit park.
  • Reid Park Cathedral, community-driven art and pavilion community meeting space.
  • Plaza Midwood, bike racks, bike repair station and Can Do Signs.
  • No Da, decorative bridge rail and underpass wall mural.
  • McCrorey Heights/Oaklawn Language Academy, mosaic mural.
  • Beatties Ford Road Corridor, community signage.
  • Oaklawn Park, little free library.
  • Belmont, historic preservation/economic development corridor study.

Type: Bus tour

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Mobile Workshop – North End Smart District: From Industry to Innovation & Beyond!

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Visit the North End Smart District and learn how the City of Charlotte worked with community leaders and the private sector to develop an innovation district. You’ll meet with community leaders, hear how technology was used to inform the process, learn about the public-private partnerships used to develop the innovation district, and see the results first-hand.

Type: Bus and walking tour

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Mobile Workshop – Quality H20: Treating Urban Run-off

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Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Services (CMSWS) protects and improves the surface water quality of more than 3,000 miles of streams and numerous acres of lakes, ponds and wetlands. CMSWS implements some of the most innovative surface water quality management programs in North Carolina, some which have been awarded national recognition. All of them are focused on the goal of improving the quality and usability of surface waters such as streams and lakes.

Visit several project sites and engage in a discussion of how the different practices used by CMSWS improve water quality.  The discussion will cover the various benefits of these projects, the challenges of working in an urban environment, the regulatory drivers behind water quality improvement initiatives, and project funding mechanisms.  Project experts will be on-hand to guide the tour and answer your questions.

Type: Bus and limited walking tour

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Mobile Workshop – Charlotte’s Westside Story: Historic West End Tour

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Learn about elements of the revitalization efforts impacting Charlotte’s historic West End. Details of the tour are being finalized but sites will be among the following:

  1. Mosaic Village. The $25 million 124,000-square-foot mixed-use facility at 1635 West Trade Street features 80 apartment-style suites on four floors and accommodates 300 tenants, the property includes a 400-car parking deck, 7,500 square feet of retail space and a 4,000-square-foot rooftop terrace. Inspired by the area’s rich history and unmatched resilience, JCSU’s Mosaic Village has carefully been sculpted by the cultural influence of jazz music, seen and heard at the nearby historic Excelsior Club.
  2. Tarlton Hills. The Tarlton Hills community was built in 1985 and is part of the Charlotte Housing Authority program. Residents participate in the Self-Sufficency program and must work at least 15 hours per week. All residents have access to community computer lab during regular office hours.
  3. Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) Athletic Complex. With a great view of Uptown, this area has the potential to become very well used public space with the greenway in sight.
  4. McCrorey Heights. Named after Dr. Henry L. McCrorey, JCSU’s second African American President, McCrorey Heights once provided housing for the majority of JCSU faculty. When Interstate I-277 was built, the homes closest to the campus were destroyed. These homes, unfortunately, were the neighborhood’s oldest and most historically important houses. McCrorey Heights is currently a recipient of $2,200,000 of Neighborhood Improvement Plan funds from 2006 seeking to enhance the quality of life for residents of the community with improvements such as curb and gutter, sidewalks with ADA wheel chair ramps, planting strips and storm drainage improvements.
  5. French Street Intersection and Streetcar terminus. French street is where Phase II of the street car terminus ends. Learn about this new opportunity for a small neighborhood center to ignite interest and activity in a developing neighborhood.
  6. Beattie’s Ford Road/ JCSU campus. Johnson C. Smith University has been a community asset to the West End neighborhoods since it was founded in 1867. JCSU is an outstanding community partner bringing different parties together and working to improve the quality of life for its students and residents in the nearby neighborhoods. The current president of the university, Dr. Ronald L. Carter, has been a driving force of a lot of the development happening in West End and around the University.
  7. Biddleville-5 points. See how improvements to this intersection of the five neighborhoods is changing character of the corridor.
  8. West Trade/ Smallwood neighborhood. The West Trade street and Smallwood neighborhood community is on the rise.
  9. Greenway Business Park. Formerly housing projects, this business park now houses Mecklenburg County Bar Association.
  10. Rozelle’s Ferry Road. This historic road is named after the Rozzelle family who operated a river ferry in the 19th century.
  11. Savona Mill. Constructed in 1920, this building replaced the original from 1908. Also known as Savona Manufacturing Company and Old Dominion Box Company, the structure will be the new home of Blue Blaze Brewing, the West End’s first brewery.
  12. Wesley Heights. A key neighborhood for West End’s historic character, Wesley Heights was founded in 1911 and is the only registered historic district in West End.
  13. FreeMoreWest. The FreeMoreWest neighborhood is crowned as one of Charlotte’s most exciting renewed neighborhoods, blending suburban living and an urban setting.

Type: Bus tour

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Mobile Workshop – City of Rock Hill – Success Story of Public Sector Investment in Sport Tourism

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The City of Rock Hill is known as a sports tourism destination. This tour will include an overview of the City’s sports tourism facilities and its history in the field. Participants will take behind the scenes tours of nationally recognized sporting venues – including the site of the 2017 BMX Supercross World Championships. Additionally, the City will share workable financing mechanisms that remove the burden on local tax payers and provide an overview of how to measure the direct community economic impact for sporting events. Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Mobile Workshop – Cross the City, Make the Ride, Enjoy the View, & Feel the Vibe

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Explore the beautiful Queen City by riding a bicycle along the Cross Charlotte Trail (XCLT)!

You’ll experience existing segments of the trail and learn about new segments in the works that will create new bike and pedestrian options for a “car-lite” lifestyle. Hear how the city and county partnered and combined recreation with transportation, and how the XCLT is triggering public-private partnerships and significant new development.

This mobile tour will include several stops along the bike ride where you will hear from City and County officials, private developers, neighborhood leaders, and Sustain Charlotte, a local advocacy organization.

The mobile bicycle tour should last 3 hours and cover approximately 8 miles round-trip. B-Cycle bikes will be provided.

Sights and stops you will see on the tour include:

  • The Metropolitan, a successful trail-oriented mixed-use development.
  • Crescent Dilworth, a new trail-oriented apartment complex that fully embraces the trail as an amenity.
  • Captain James Jack Park, an iconic park along one of the “signature urban” sections of trail.
  • Several trail underpasses that separate trail users from automobile traffic.
  • A major stream restoration project.
  • Freedom Park, Charlotte’s signature 98-acre “central park.”
  • Park Road Shopping Center, which was reoriented to take advantage of its proximity to the XCLT.
  • B-Cycle Bike Share stations, one of the largest bike share systems in the Southeast with 24 stations and 200 bikes—and growing!

Type: Bike tour

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Mobile Workshop – Extending Our Reach: A Tour of the Blue Line Extension Light Rail Project

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The LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) is a catalyst for growth in the Charlotte community. The BLE adds an additional 9.3 miles to the existing 9.6 mile Blue Line light rail system, which boasts over 16,000 average daily riders. The existing LYNX Blue Line has promoted substantial development in the south corridor of Charlotte, and the Charlotte community is looking forward to another successful segment slated to open prior to March 2018. The tour will consist of a stop at each station, a look at existing and planned development along the alignment, and a discussion of the collaborative efforts that are making this $1.16 billion dollar project come to life.

Type: Bus and limited walking tour

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Mobile Workshop – Put Me In, Coach! Charlotte’s Urban Sports Venues and the Partnerships Behind Them

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Tour the Bank of America Stadium, Spectrum Arena and BB&T Ballpark and learn about the public/private partnerships required to make these projects happen. You’ll get a backstage pass to the venues that are home for the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets and the Charlotte Knights, while also providing spaces for other sporting and entertainment events that draw attendees from across the Charlotte region and beyond. These public-private partnerships help make our Center City a destination, and we always want to win the game by providing attendees with the best experiences.

Guides:
Ron Kimble, City of Charlotte
Scott Paul, Executive Director of Stadium Operations, BofA Stadium
Fred Whitfield, President & COO, Hornets Sports & Entertainment
Dan Rajkowski, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Charlotte Knights

Type: Bus and walking tour

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Mobile Workshop – Rooted: Explore our City in a Forest

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Charlotte’s tree canopy is the city’s signature natural resource. In 2011, the city council adopted a “50% Canopy by 2050” goal to preserve and enhance the canopy. Charlotte employs three complementary strategies to accomplish this goal: maintenance of healthy trees on public property, land development regulations balancing tree protection with economic growth, and strong community collaboration that sparked the creation of a very successful public-private collaborative effort called TreesCharlotte. This combination bus and walking tour will teach you the heritage and promise of Charlotte’s canopy efforts. The tour will consist of three parts:

  1. Tree Canopy Preservation Program conservation area tour. See a site that has been purchased by the city for the sole purpose of saving the trees. These purchases are funded by mitigation payments made by developers who cannot meet tree-save requirements at their development sites.
  2. Uptown tree walking tour. Learn about the forward-looking plan to have tree-lined uptown streets. Sidewalks were specially engineered to accommodate tree roots. Learn about the hazards these trees face.
  3. TreesCharlotte planting site. Hear the story of the public/private collaborative that Charlotte has created and see some of the sites where volunteers and the community have come together to plant trees on public or private property.

Type: Bus and walking tour

Thursday, November 16

8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Mobile Workshop – Arts & Parks Urban Walking Tour

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In this three-part tour you’ll visit and learn about the history and economic impact of Charlotte’s grand center city park, Avenue of the Arts, and Public Art program. This walking tour will cover the following areas:

Romare Bearden Park
Visit the city’s beautifully designed center city park that has sparked amazing development at its perimeter.

Avenue of the Arts
Learn the story of the public/private partnership that created an uptown city avenue dedicated to arts & culture.  You’ll enjoy a walking tour of the avenue with a behind-the-scenes look at the arts facilities.

Public Art Walking Tour
Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s public art program was initiated in 1981. During 2002-03, the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners and the Charlotte City Council adopted ordinances that allocate 1% of eligible capital investment funds for public art, ensuring that artworks will continue to grace our public spaces and enhance urban and economic development efforts.

Charlotte, through the foresight of public officials, corporate partners and visionary individuals, is fortunate to have a wonderful collection of distinctive public art in Center City and beyond. This walking tour reveals Charlotte’s unique culture, diverse communities, rich history and civic pride as expressed through public art.

Type: Walking tour

8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Mobile Workshop – Hidden Gems of HerStory: Tour of Charlotte’s History

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Enjoy a guided history tour of Charlotte. Sights will include:

  1. The beautiful Myers Park neighborhood: Myers Park was designed by noted planner John Nolen the early 20th century and was called at the time the “finest unified subdivision south of Baltimore.” Nolen hired the landscape architect Earle Sumner Draper to turn the almost treeless farmland into a suburban park. Willow, oak, tulip poplar, and elm were selected to grace the sidewalks and gardens, and they now give the neighborhood the feeling of “a city in a forest.” The neighborhood includes fine examples of period architecture.
  2. A swing by the Charlotte Mint: This visit will include discussion of the first U.S. gold rush which occurred here in North Carolina.
  3. A drive through the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood. Plaza-Midwood was first established in 1910 as a streetcar suburb of Charlotte. The Oakland Land Company was responsible for the layout of the roads within the neighborhood. Through the Great Depression, Plaza-Midwood would thrive, before its decline commenced in the 1950s. By 1975, the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association was established to protect and preserve the neighborhood. Since the mid-1990s, the area has seen a dramatic comeback as reinvestment has transformed once dilapidated homes into funky urban dwellings. Plaza-Midwood's Historic District is located in the western section of the neighborhood and is maintained by residents and business operators. The area along The Plaza, Thomas Avenue and parts of Pecan and Clement were designated as a Local Historic District in 1992.
  4. Stop at Historic Hezekiah Alexander Home or Rosedale Plantation: We'll take a stop here for a snack.
  5. A drive through 4th Ward. The historic Fourth Ward neighborhood artfully blends restored 100-plus-year-old Victorian homes with luxury condominiums, urban apartments, parks and businesses. This collection of quaint and charming meets urban contemporary offers a residential experience that has made Fourth Ward a premier uptown community.
  6. Swing by Biddle Hall at Johnson C. Smith University: Biddle Memorial Hall was constructed in 1884. It was the first substantial building erected on the current campus of Johnson C. Smith University, formerly Biddle University), and is the oldest surviving structure on the campus. The school was founded to prepare former slaves for freedom.

Tour Guide:  Dr. Tom Hanchett is a community historian in Charlotte, NC. Previously he served as Staff Historian for 16 years at Levine Museum where he curated the permanent exhibition Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers (named best in the Southeast by the South East Museums Conference), and a string of national-award-winning temporary exhibitions including COURAGE about the Carolina roots of the Brown v Board Civil Rights case. Tom’s writings range widely on urban history and Southern culture: a book about Charlotte’s neighborhoods, Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class & Urban Development in Charlotte(UNC Press); an essay exploring the history of US shopping malls; a monthly newspaper column Food From Home; and more. Educated at Cornell University, University of Chicago, and UNC Chapel Hill, he plays fiddle.

Type: Bus and limited walking

8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Mobile Workshop – North End Smart District: From Industry to Innovation & Beyond!

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Visit the North End Smart District and learn how the City of Charlotte worked with community leaders and the private sector to develop an innovation district. You’ll meet with community leaders, hear how technology was used to inform the process, learn about the public-private partnerships used to develop the innovation district, and see the results first-hand.

Type: Bus and walking tour

8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Mobile Workshop – Walk This Way: Building Healthy Communities One Step at a Time

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Centralina Council of Governments, as an American Planning Association Plan4Health grantee, recently worked with communities in west Charlotte with lower health outcomes to look at barriers to physical activity. Working with state and local agencies, they conducted walk audits and park access audits, and explored shared and open use agreements. Walkable communities are an important aspect of improving health and quality of life. Learn about the process and conduct your own walk audit for lessons you can use at home.

Type: Bus and walking tour