Charlotte’s new planning director explains vision for the city’s growth

Over 120 people joined us at  Resident Culture Brewing for launch of our new monthly event series, Grow Smart CLT! We were thrilled to have Dr. Doug Shoemaker of the UNCC Center for Applied GIScience and Taiwo Jaiyeoba, Director of Planning for the City of Charlotte, as our two speakers for the launch event.

Resident Brewing Speaker

Dr. Shoemaker shared historical data about how Charlotte has been growing since the 1970’s and explained how his research on different development patterns can help us “grow smart”. He made the case for allowing more density in the right places instead of allowing low-density sprawl.

As the lead planner for the Charlotte, Taiwo shared his vision for how we can guide our growth instead of simply managing it. He believes we need to stay ahead of the growth curve and be very thoughtful about what is bringing people here so that we can continue to keep Charlotte a great place to live. He also spoke about upcoming opportunities for community members to get involved in sharing their perspectives, particularly during the redesign of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).

Resident Brewing Audience

The UDO is the guiding document for development in Charlotte. If you aren’t familiar with the term UDO, it is a local policy instrument with the purpose of creating a comprehensive set of land development standards and regulations such as design guidelines, sign regulations, zoning and subdivision regulations.

Taiwo wants to focus on creating “place types” as part of the UDO redesign, which will capture more of the character of areas, along with the unique needs. All Charlotte residents, including you, have a chance to provide input on the “place types” in the new document. See our action item below! Even more exciting is that Taiwo shared a timeline for completing the new document, including an aggressive goal of having the new UDO finalized in 2020! See their schedule along with some other graphics Taiwo provided on Charlotte’s growth below.

Our goal is to ensure that attendees not only walk away with a better understanding of the challenge but also at least one action you can take to help put Charlotte on a smarter path. The action item from this event is to share your thoughts on Unified Development Ordinance/Place Types by taking this survey! Want to get in touch with Taiwo Jaiyeoba? Email him here:

You can also come the the Place Types Summit happening Thursday, March 22 – Saturday, March 24.

Weren’t able to make it to this event?  Check out the pictures here!


Join us for the the next event March 14!

Grow Smart CLT will be happening each month on the second Wednesday at a local brewery. Each month we choose a different issue that is being impacted by our growth. For our March 14th event, we’ll tackle the issue of smart growth and green space. We’re excited that Rick Winiker of Greenways for Mecklenburg will be one of our speakers, as well as several other community leaders who address this issue daily. Learn more and register for the event here!

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