How should University City grow in the future?

Resident input sought at Feb. 12 meeting

02/08/2013 11:00 PM

02/09/2013 1:22 AM

The people who live, work and invest in University City are invited to give input about their community at a February meeting or online for the CONNECT Our Future initiative.

The program is a three-year process that examines 14 counties surrounding Charlotte and forms a framework for responding to the region’s growth and expansion.

People of the region can attend meetings throughout the area, including one Feb. 12 at Crossway Community Church on Prosperity Church Road, and learn about the initiative as well as provide their personal input.

Data can also be collected through an online survey, which is available at www.connectourfuture.org, and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

“What I’ve learned over the last 10 years is that people here want to be asked their opinion, they want to be listened to when data is collected from them and they want to be consulted,” said Mary Hopper, the executive director of University City Partners.

The survey asks questions about important features in the region, what the area’s biggest challenges are, and describing the community. There are also some basic demographics questions at the end of the survey. All surveys are anonymous.

The data will be collected and used to determine what the biggest regional challenges are, what’s important to the people from those areas and a plan to help communities prosper as they grow.

CONNECT Our Future organizers say the greater Charlotte region has a population of more than 1 million people, and that they expect that number to double by 2050. The three-year process is funded by a federal grant, which is administered by the Centralina Council of Governments and Catawba Regional Council of Governments.

“I think what we’re seeing is that in some ways, we’re at a crossroads,” Hopper said of University City. “Are we going to become more urban? How do we fit the density of the area along the rail line with having the desire to also hold onto precious resources like the forests that exist in the dead center of the University Research Park?”

Hopper said it’s important that people who live in and care about University City give their input.

“I’m just hoping everyone will take the time to go to the meeting on the 12th,” she said, “but if they can’t do that, the data will be collected in the online survey and allows their voice to be heard.”

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