Impact 704 Academy

Impact 704 Academy

Impact 704 Academy graphic

Sustain Charlotte’s Impact 704 Academy takes place annually in the fall. This educational series dives into topics of sustainable, equitable, and resilient urban development in the Charlotte area.

If you are looking to make a difference and want to be more involved in local sustainability efforts, this series is for you! 

Katie Lloyd presents at Impact 704 Academy

About Impact 704 Academy

Impact 704 Academy is an opportunity for individuals to learn about various aspects of smart growth, including how smart growth strategies could be implemented and how each resident of Charlotte will benefit if we are strategic about planning our city.

At Sustain Charlotte, we pay special attention to land use and transportation. During this three-part series, we invite speakers representing the city government, educational institutions, nonprofits, and the private sector to engage our community and share advice for attendees to learn how to advocate for themselves and their communities.

Catch up with session recaps

Get to know more about Impact 704 Academy in our 2023 event recaps:

How to participate

Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about our next Impact 704 Academy!

Actions you can take to advocate for your community and neighborhood!

Want to support your community, but don't know where to begin? The following table outlines activities, projects, and resources you can engage in to advocate for your community. Drop us a line to let us know what project you're taking on and how we can help you succeed.


Send an email to one or more of your local or state officials.

Description of project

Depending on the issue, this email could be addressed to the City Council or Town Council members, County Commissioners, School Board members, or State elected officials. Use the link in resources to find out who your representatives are.

Sign up and speak at a local government public meeting or forum.

Choose your audience, depending on the smart growth issue that you would like to speak about. You might consider taking part in a County Commissioners' meeting, City or Town Council meeting, School board meeting, and/or Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) meeting. If you live outside of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County and need help figuring out how to sign up to speak at the public meeting/forum where you live, please reach out to Meg Fencil. (

Attend your neighborhood association/coalition meeting (if you have not attended previously).

Attend your neighborhood association or neighborhood coalition meeting. To find out which neighborhood organizations are active in your area, use the link in resources. Sometimes, checking Facebook groups might be a good way to find those organizations. When attending the meeting, we encourage you to talk to three new people about a smart growth topic relevant to your community.

Invite one of your local/state elected officials to attend your neighborhood organization meeting.

If you are already attending your neighborhood organization meeting, invite one or several of your local representative (elected officials) to those meetings to speak and/or listen to residents regarding a smart growth topic that’s relevant for your community.

Bring a friend along on a trip by walking, biking, or public transit.

Plan and take a trip by walking, biking, or public transit. Bring a family member, co-worker or friend with you and discuss the importance of transportation choices for our city.

Public transit: To download the CATS app, click here.

Reach out to CATS to share your feedback at

Bike: Use Google maps to plan a bike trip in your neighborhood (select the bike or walking icon to build a route).

Learn more about Growing our parks and greenways.

Do a walkability audit of your neighborhood

Take a group of friends or neighbors and walk around your neighborhood. Notice: Is it easy to walk to the closest grocery store or bus stop? Share the audit results and your recommendations with your neighborhood organization or elected officials (City or Town Council members) or your local planning staff (especially if you live in a town).

Organize a walk or bike ride on a greenway (or other active transportation routes) in or near your neighborhood.

Plan and host an “all ages, all abilities” walk or bike ride in your neighborhood to either introduce residents to a greenway, bike route, walking route OR to highlight the need for this type of infrastructure. Use this as an opportunity to talk to your neighbors about the importance of active transportation.

Tell your neighbors or friends about the work of Sustain Charlotte.

Encourage five friends/neighbors to subscribe to Sustain Charlotte's newsletter. Write a summary of your experience participating in the Impact 704 Academy event on your social media encouraging your friends to subscribe to Sustain Charlotte’s newsletter, follow us on social media or attend a specific upcoming event.

Subscribe to the Sustain Charlotte newsletter

Follow Sustain Charlotte on social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Check out our upcoming events! 

Apply to join one of the City’s or County’s resident commissions

The City of Charlotte has 35 boards and commissions. Residents of Mecklenburg County can volunteer to participate by applying for a vacancy. The boards have an advisory function, which is another great opportunity to make your voice heard. Serving on resident boards and commissions is a commitment, so it’s important to ensure you have time available for this.

Interested residents should complete the online application and submit it to the Office of the City Clerk. To apply for a board position, click here. The City Council vacancy notice can be accessed here.

Mecklenburg County also offers residents an opportunity to serve on boards and commissions. More details on the Mecklenburg County board are here.