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Charlotte's Growth Strategy
Why does Charlotte need a Growth Strategy?
Charlotte and the surrounding area continue to grow at a rapid pace, even with the current economic downturn.  Charlotte’s quality of life in the coming years will largely depend on how the City responds to this growth.  Charlotteans expect a high quality of life, and a variety of factors indicate that they also want more lifestyle choices.  Many Charlotteans want to live in single family neighborhoods. Increasingly, however, there is a demand for new forms of urban housing by people seeking less maintenance and better access to Uptown cultural and entertainment amenities. Increasing environmental awareness, along with gas prices, are also affecting where people choose to live or work and how they travel. An aging and expanding infrastructure network, the need to maintain and upgrade facilities like streets and transit and increasing pressure to intensify suburban areas makes strategic planning and investment necessary to provide options without putting livability at risk.
How Fast is Charlotte Growing?
Charlotte’s population more than doubled (to about 675,000 people) between 1980 and 2008.  By 2030, Charlotte is projected to add 287,000 more people and 318,000 more jobs.  Ultimately, Charlotte’s land area will be 376 square miles, making it one of the largest cities in the U.S.  This ongoing growth, along with many square miles of vacant or underutilized land still available for development and redevelopment, show the need for a comprehensive strategy to anticipate and plan for that growth. This will ensure the best use of a valuable resource: land. A good strategy will allow growth to continue to be a key component of Charlotte’s economic vitality without straining our environment, livability and ability to efficiently provide infrastructure.
What is Charlotte’s growth strategy?
The basic premise of Charlotte’s growth strategy is to guide growth into areas that can support new development or are in need of redevelopment, and away from areas that cannot support new growth. The Growth Strategy will continue to be implemented by a coordinated set of decisions about land uses, transportation and infrastructure investments, thereby ensuring that new development will occur in a way that enhances lifestyle choices and sustains our quality of life.

Our goals for growth and development 

Charlotte will strive for:

Empowered, informed and engaged citizens
High quality community design
Quality and livable neighborhoods and residential opportunities
A diverse, growing and sustainable economy
Revitalization of economically-challenged areas
More places where a variety of activities are accessible
Expanded transportation choices
Greater consideration of environmental benefits and impacts
A healthy and flourishing tree canopy
Efficient investment in infrastructure
What are some of the positive and negative effects of growth?

Regional growth in the Charlotte area can bring many opportunities for our communities. Growth can mean more jobs, a variety of career options, career advancement and higher wages. The growth also offers us choices. We will have more choices on where we live, how we travel and the types of recreation and entertainment we participate in. Along with these choices come challenges. The increasing population means more congestion and traffic. This can mean increased commuting time. Development can create sprawl and increase our demand for infrastructure. This development will also decrease our available open space and create more environmental stress on our resources.