Charlotte, NC

The basics of Charlotte's 2040 Plan

Reilly Moncrief

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(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) With thousands of people moving to Charlotte every year, the city is feeling the inevitable growing pains. Apartment complexes are popping up on what feels like every corner, schools are becoming overcrowded, crime has increased and the road construction feels endless. 

As one of the fastest growing cities in America, Charlotte saw a 20.4% increase in its population from April 2010 to July 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With its continuous rapid growth in mind, the city began to cast a vision for a comprehensive plan to combat these issues and turn ideas into actions. Now, that plan is up for its final review before the city council adopts it this fall.

The Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan is the recommended framework for how the city will grow over the next 19 years. It provides short and long-term goals on how key parts of the community, such as affordable housing, transportation, schools, roads, public parks and shopping plazas, will develop and improve in the years ahead. It is the city’s attempt to invest intentionally in the future of Charlotte and its residents.

“The policies, projects and programs in this Plan aim to help shape the future of the places we live, work, shop and play by preserving what’s important to our community and guiding investments that help Charlotte remain a vibrant and unique city,” the plan's executive summary says. “The Plan will help ensure a high quality of life for residents and an attractive city for employers and employees.” 

Since 2018, over 5,500 residents have provided input during events and town hall meetings, as well as submitting comments and completing forums online, where they voice their opinions on how they want to see the city change. The Equitable Growth Framework details the four major equity metrics: access to essential amenities, goods and services; access to housing opportunities; access to employment opportunities; and striving for environmental justice. 

Another important aspect of the plan as outlined in the executive summary is the desire for complete places. This means that in all neighborhoods across Charlotte, residents have access to safe and convenient goods and services, job opportunities and affordable housing options.

After three years, the four guiding principles (equitable, authentic, integrated and resilient) and five vision elements (inclusive & diverse, livable & connected, healthy & sustainable, prosperous & innovative and regional) have been chosen and will begin to shape the future of Charlotte. 

The Charlotte 2040 Comprehensive Plan is currently in Phase 4: review and adoption. On June 21, the city council will meet for the final vote.

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Reilly Moncrief is a writer, producer and photographer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She currently works as a Podcast Producer at Camino, a non-profit focused on serving the marginalized Latino population in the greater Charlotte area. She has a passion for people and loves learning about her hometown.

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