Development

How should we design buildings to protect Charlotte’s ‘public realm?’

How do you think development – especially infill development that’s changing many historic neighborhoods – should work to preserve and enhance the city’s public, outdoor spaces?

That’s the topic of Tuesday’s Civic by Design forum. “While hip architectural plan/elevation design, creative site layouts for parking, and rooftop views are a priority, clearly some recent infill is not elevating or even maintaining the quality of the public realm,” the description reads.

The free, every-other-month discussion series is organized by Tom Low, a local architect and urban planner.

Below is the description for Tuesday’s event. The forums are typically attended by a mix of architects, students, development types and residents of all stripes who are interested in how the city is growing.

The 5:30 p.m. forum will be held at the Levine Museum of the New South, and you can park at the adjacent 7th Street public garage and get your ticket validated. Bonus: I’ll be there, so if you’ve been dying to shake my hand, this is your chance.

Tuesday’s forum description:

“Sometimes referred to as outdoor rooms, the public realm primarily consists of the streets, sidewalks, parks, plazas, and other gathering spaces that comprise the corridors and nodes of our cities, towns, and neighborhoods. The quality of our public realm is at the heart of how we experience the surrounding environment and relate to neighbors and our communities.

Therefore, it is important that the public realm is safe, sustainable, and enriching. Leaders are excited about the momentum and interest in living and developing inside our historic walkable neighborhoods. Main reasons include close proximity to center city and urban districts as well as a high quality walkable public realm.

And while hip architectural plan/elevation design, creative site layouts for parking, and rooftop views are a priority, clearly some recent infill is not elevating or even maintaining the quality of the public realm. Please join us and neighborhood advocates, community leaders, designers, and developers to discuss how civic design can further enhance as well as mitigate degradation of our walkable neighborhoods.

The following will be included in this event:

1. Learn about the meaning and definition of the public realm and why it is important.

2. See local examples of both good and polarizing development ocuring in our historic neighborhoods, Center City, and other communities within our region.

3. Hear from concerned citizens and neighborhood leaders about how this trend is helping and threatening the quality of life of their communities.

4. Explore examples of good design and development methods for infill and redevelopment framework that can help protect the quality and elevate economic value through civic design.”

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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