Piecing the Fragments Together: Approaches to Green Infrastructure Implementation In Cities

Using design and engineering, there are many ways that buildings, plantings, or other structures can absorb stormwater runoff, reduce the urban heat island effect, and improve air and water quality in a city. These practices are called green infrastructure (GI). GI can help cities save money and improve environmental quality for ecosystems and humans. Stormwater runoff, particularly in combined sewer system cities where runoff and … Continue reading Piecing the Fragments Together: Approaches to Green Infrastructure Implementation In Cities

Got Green Space?

Planning for Preventative Health Urban green space provides a place to escape the concrete and steel of urban city centers, spend time in nature, connect with others, and get moving. As Americans become increasingly sedentary, a push towards funding and implementing green space as a means of increasing individual health has gained traction. Doctors now write green prescriptions for patients to go walk at their … Continue reading Got Green Space?

Current Planning-Related Legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly

The Planner’s toolbox is being modified constantly by laws passed and policies enacted at every level of government. Being aware of existing laws, as well as proposed legislation, is important for planners, communities, and advocates working throughout the state. Here’s a sample of the planning-related bills currently under consideration at the state level in the North Carolina General Assembly: House Bill 3 / Senate Bill 34: … Continue reading Current Planning-Related Legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly

From Brownfields to Goldfields

“Potential site contamination. Remediation required.”   This phrase strikes fear into the hearts of investors and developers looking to finance their next project. An already strenuous process of site evaluation, plan development, and investment soliciting grinds to a halt as developers question whether clean-up efforts and future liabilities are worth further investment of time and resources. It is usually at this point where developers opt … Continue reading From Brownfields to Goldfields

The Future of Floods: Lessons from Charlotte-Mecklenburg County

This post was drafted prior to the flooding in North Carolina associated with Hurricane Matthew, but we feel that these lessons are now more relevant than ever given the severity of the damage across the state. This post was written in response to a field trip taken by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Natural Hazards class in the Department of City and Regional Planning … Continue reading The Future of Floods: Lessons from Charlotte-Mecklenburg County

Durham’s Crisis of Priorities: Parking and Housing

A version of the following piece was originally published in the Triangle-based Indy in response to an article about the downtown Durham parking “crisis”. The article mentions that the city of Durham will soon begin charging for on-street parking and that local leaders are debating whether to use two county-owned downtown parcels for parking or affordable housing. The assumption that plenty of parking should be … Continue reading Durham’s Crisis of Priorities: Parking and Housing

Bryant Reimagined: The Creation of a Small Area Plan

Most students pursuing a master’s in Planning are required to complete either a thesis or original project as part of their degree. Ben Lykins, a 2016 graduate from the Department of City and Regional Planning at UNC Chapel Hill, choose a practice-oriented route and created a small area plan for Bryant, Arkansas. Ben says that creating the “Bryant Reimagined” plan was a challenging way to … Continue reading Bryant Reimagined: The Creation of a Small Area Plan