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Newsletters and Updates: Local

Civic By Design puzzler and pop-up 10th anniversary

Friday, January 23, 2015  
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Here is a fun (and easy) way to recap our monthly forum events from 2014.  Below is our 2014 Puzzler poster collage of event images and a numbered list describing each monthly event.  See if you can match the images with the specific event.  Answers are at the bottom. 


Also the Civic By Design Center in partnership with Helping Homeless to Housing (HHH) of the Urban Ministry Center of Charlotte launched our first event in December during the Food Truck Friday in South End, Charlotte, North Carolina to advance the Pop-Up Porch Initiative and Street Stories and Beyond: Past and Present Initiative. Here is a link to a short video of the event:

Here is a link to a pictorial booklet of the event:

This past year brought us continued interest in walkability with a talk by urban designer Julie Campoli featuring her book Made for Walking as well as the 3rd annual Janes Walk recap sponsored by UNCC's Urban Institute.  We discussed how Good Bones — human-scale buildings and ready-made networks of small blocks and connected streets — make walking easy.  We discovered there are growing concerns with the proliferation of Snout Houses infesting our older walkable neighborhoods and a lack of ways to protect them.  Citizen activists Ken Steiner and Nancy Pierce are rallying awareness about the consequences of too much outdoor lighting with a forum on Illuminating Glare.  Victor Dover inspired us with the Street Secrets for creating great streets.  Exciting to hear from Ken Szymanski, the Chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing about how Charlotte is taking bold and necessary actions towards Housing Homeless.  We collaborated with Darlene Heater, Executive Director for University City Partners to determine the top 10 time-tested urban design rules for increasing the University City area's A+ Urbanism.  We produced this with forum participants by tapping into the expertise of Nico Larco's design rules ideas from his book Site Design for Multi-Family Housing and Rob Steuteville's, 5 steps for complete communities, and how to build better suburbs.  But we found out we are not A students per our grades on the Sustainability Scorecard of our Environmental, Economic, and Social Health by Sustain Charlottte as presented by Shannon Binns, Executive Director.   We discussed the importance of creating good bones to the urban fabric and once the good bones are established, how essential is getting the right urban tissue towards creating a successful walkable community.  To do this Joel Russell, Director of the Form-Based Code Institute explored with us the use of Form Making including Form-Based Codes as Charlotte is in the long-overdue process of updating our zoning ordinance.  And finally Michael Powe with the National Trust for Historic Preservation Green Lab discussed Older Smaller Better in that small-scale urban development and thoughtful, context-sensitive design enhances urban vitality and can actually be more economical viable.  Green Lab's mapping data points of Charlotte and Davidson confirm with new data what Jane Jacob's revealed over a half century ago.


It's fun to look back over ten years and more than 100 forum events, several hands-on design workshops, seminars in planning, design, and history, topic specific conferences.  The results have been increasing general community awareness, as well as indirect and direct influence on community projects.  The launch and implementation of exciting Initiatives include Learning Cottages currently be designed and built around the country and our Pop-Up Porches launch (more on this soon.)  Looking forward to 2015 in our 11th year!



Answers to Puzzler:  1-K, 2-G, 3-C, 4-E, 5-D, 6-B, 7-I, 8-H, 9-A, 10-J, 11-F, 12-L.

Thank you to our Annual Platinum Sponsors




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