Join us for a smart growth workshop series!

You’re invited to attend a 4-part workshop series to learn about how smart growth can help to improve health, economic mobility, and overall quality of life for people living in the Charlotte area!

Each online learning module will be taught by an expert Smart Growth America instructor and will include presentations, discussion, attendee interaction, and Q&A. Modules will be held virtually on the web-based Zoom platform for up to two hours (no “in-person” meetings in a physical room).

Registration is required. While there is no cost to participate, we highly recommend that you try to attend at least 3 of the 4 modules and actively participate to get the most from this experience. The modules will be recorded and shared with registered participants so that you can catch up on any material you miss.

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Who: The workshop will meet the needs of neighborhood leaders, faith community leaders, elected officials, government staff, community planners, educators, and anyone who wants to better understand how communities can grow more sustainably and equitably to support healthy people.

In order to ensure a robust conversation and maximize the learning engagement, participants will be asked to prepare for each module by providing requested information and reviewing background materials.

Active People Healthy Nation


A series of 4 workshop modules presented by Smart Growth America and co-hosted by Sustain Charlotte and RAO Community Health. This program is made possible through a REACH grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The 4 modules will be held on Tuesday and Thursdays from 2:00 to 4:00pm EST (2 hours each). Topics include:

Tues 7/21 – Module 1: The Benefits of Complete Streets* [view recording here]

Thurs 7/23 – Module 2: Designing for Active Transportation and the Role of Land Use* [view recording here]

Tues 7/28 – Module 3: Partnerships and Implementation* [view recording here] 

Thurs 7/30 – Module 4: Implementing Complete Streets for Complete Communities* [view recording here]

* More details about the content and learning outcomes of each module are listed at the bottom of this page.


The workshop modules will be delivered 100% virtually on the secure Zoom platform. You’ll receive a link to join by desktop or smartphone app after you register (big red button below). Although we can’t meet in person, there will be plenty of opportunities to interact through discussion and Q&A. While there will be an option to call in with audio only, we highly recommend that those of you with internet access should join with video so you can fully participate.


Since 2003, Smart Growth America (SGA) has provided technical assistance to hundreds of communities in the United States and North America, including numerous engagements in the State of North Carolina. SGA’s technical assistance is interdisciplinary, leveraging the different areas of experience within the organization. However, SGA’s approach to technical assistance always begins with the same first step – identifying the community’s interests, goals, and vision for a better place and working with them to develop a path forward.

SGA uses its experience and expertise to provide education on best practices and/or data analysis to build a common foundation of understanding on the topic and current conditions; facilitates a series of discussions to identify local challenges and opportunities; and ultimately synthesizes the outcomes of the data and these discussions into recommendations that represent the priorities of the community and/or stakeholders, which the group can then implement moving forward, often with SGA’s continued support.

How: This is the easy part! The workshop is free, but registration is required.


Questions? Ask

Please share this invitation with anyone in the Charlotte area that would benefit from the workshops.

Details about module content and outcomes (subject to change based on needs of SGA, RAO Community Health, Sustain Charlotte and feedback from participants):

Module 1 (Tuesday 7/21, 2:00 – 4:00pm EST)

The Benefits of Complete Streets

  • Present the range of health, safety, environmental, and economic benefits of Complete Streets;
  • Emphasize who benefits – and who’s often left behind in both projects as well as outreach/communications;
  • Address on-the-ground impact of systemic underinvestment in terms of access to bike, walk, roll, or use transit;
  • Understand equity-focused criteria identified in Complete Street policies to prioritize transportation investments in neighborhoods with higher concentrations of low-income individuals, people of color, and households without access to a private automobile.

Outcomes:  Clear understanding of how to communicate the benefits of Complete Streets and to work towards making those benefits accessible to vulnerable communities


Module 2 (Thursday, 7/23, 2:00 – 4:00pm EST)

Designing for Active Transportation and the Role of Land Use

  • Introduction to balancing multimodal travel and need for connectivity;
  • Explore land use decision impacts on connectivity and transportation;
  • Creating complete networks, how to prioritize connections to everyday destinations including: trails, grocery stores, job centers, homes, and public transit (first-mile/last-mile);
  • Emphasize mid-sized city and suburban contexts and examples.

Outcomes:  Clear understanding of the role of land use in creating activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations


Module 3 (Tuesday 7/28, 2:00 – 4:00pm)

Partnerships and Implementation

  • Cross-sectoral collaboration: working with public health to implement Complete Streets;
  • Discussion of internal and external decision-making practices that could be modified to support Complete Streets;
  • Implementing a decision-making process to routinely create great environments for active transportation;
  • Discussion of the role of the RAO Community Health REACH partnership in implementing Complete Streets.

Outcomes:  Clear understanding of the current internal decision-making processes and how they help or hinder Complete Streets implementation


Module 4 (Thursday 7/30, 2:00 – 4:00pm)

Implementing Complete Streets for Complete Communities

  • Integrating planning into Complete Streets: land use, zoning, and subdivisions;
  • Project selection criteria for Complete Streets: Setting up how to evaluate what matters and a discussion of potential ranking criteria;
  • Apply Complete Streets tools and approaches to a local example.

Outcomes:  Clear understanding of the pathways for reviewing and revising existing plans, policies, and procedures

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