We are working to have an impact across the Charlotte metro region through a number of strategic initiatives. If you would like to help support or participate in any of these initiatives, please contact us!
2014 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sustainability Report Card
On August 5, 2014, Sustain Charlotte officially launched the first ever independently researched and written report that assesses the current health of the community using 57 metrics spanning nine issues. Using a robust methodology and years of data from a variety of sources, the authors have generated a report card for each issue and provided 94 recommendations for how Charlotte-Mecklenburg can accelerate progress. The nine issues assessed include: Air Quality, Energy Use, Equity + Empowerment, Food, Jobs + Income, Land Use, Transportation, Waste, and Water Use. Download the report card here.
Transportation Choices Alliance
In January 2014, after more than a year of research and partnership building, Sustain Charlotte launched the Transportation Choices Alliance. The mission of the alliance is to increase transportation choices and their use throughout the Charlotte region to improve traffic, air quality, public health, mobility and the economy. More transportation choices means more safe and convenient opportunities to take a bus, catch a train, ride a bike, or walk. In 2014, our priorities are to grow awareness of the alliance and its membership, increase awareness and support for the 2030 Transit Plan, and promote the connections between our economy, our quality of life, and more transportation choices. To learn more about how you can add your voice to the alliance, and increase our impact, click here.
In January 2012, with financial support from Wells Fargo, we launched a partnership with Charlotte Neighborhood and Business Services to provide sustainability education to residents in motivated neighborhoods across the city, and empower them to set measurable sustainability goals for their communities, based on their interests and needs. We then suggested strategies and resources to help them achieve these goals, and compiled this information into Sustainable Vision Plans for each neighborhood. Goals varied by neighborhood but included reducing household energy use, improving access to healthy food, reducing the amount of waste going to the landfill, and getting more residents out of their cars, to name just a few. Below are the eleven neighborhoods we have been working with since 2012 and just click on a neighborhood name to download their plan. You can also read a news story about this initiative here and download our 2013 Progress Report here!
In 2014, five additional neighborhoods are working with Sustain Charlotte to create Sustainable Vision Plans and have begun working towards measurable sustainability goals. These neighborhoods are Starmount, Villa Heights, Reid Park, Neighborhood Good Samaritan Center (east Charlotte), and Wilmore.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Livability Plan
After we launched Charlotte 2030: A Sustainable Vision for Our Region in 2010 (see below), we began encouraging city and county leaders to engage citizens in the development of a comprehensive plan to ensure we achieve this vision, and we shared with them the best practices from other metro areas around the country who have already created a plan. In April of 2012, Charlotte City Council Member John Autry invited us to give a presentation to City Council's Environment Committee on how similar cities to ours have developed these types of plans and our recommendations for how the city should proceed. View our April presentation to the Committee here. Thanks to our educational and advocacy efforts over three years, the Charlotte City Council and Mecklenburg County Commission approved funds in the spring of 2013 to develop a Livability Plan over two years. Four citizen working groups have been formed to draft the plan and Sustain Charlotte staff are serving on the Built Environment Working Group.
Annual Community Sustainability Awards
Each year, we invite the community to nominate those individuals who they feel are leading us towards Charlotte 2030: A Sustainable Vision for Our Region. We then recognize and honor all nominees as well as a winner in each of twelve categories at an exciting evening event. The award categories reflect the ten issues that shapes the sustainability of our community: Air Quality, Transportation, Energy, Buildings and Homes, Water, Social Equity, Economy, Parks and Green Space, Food, and Waste. We also recognize an Outstanding Educator and an Overall Outstanding Leader. Click here to read about our 2012 winners and here to read about our 2013 winners. If you would like to sponsor our 2014 Community Sustainability Awards please contact us!
Charlotte 2030: A Sustainable Vision for Our Region
On November 1, 2010, Sustain Charlotte launched Charlotte 2030: A Sustainable Vision for Our Region to serve as a guide for our work. This first-of-its-kind community-based vision for our region's future is the product of countless volunteer hours, and the engagement of more than 100 local citizens and experts from many disciplines using a collaborative and consensus-based process, drawn from government, the nonprofit and private sectors, and academia. Click here to download a free copy of the Vision and share it with your friends and family. Details of the public launch, including those who expressed their support, can be found on our events page. Thanks to the many individuals who gave their time and shared their ideas to write this community vision for our future!
Connect Our Future
In early 2011, we partnered with the Centralina Council of Governments as a key member of the Connect Our Future project, which is a process to engage citizens across our 14-county region to develop a regional growth framework, given that our region's population is expected to double within 40 years. Our role has been to help devise strategies for effectively engaging citizens of all backgrounds across our region, especially under-represented community members and youth. If you are affiliated with a school or work with a youth group of any kind, please let us know; we'd love to engage your youth in this project.