Volume 28.1 Redefining Livability in the Urban Southeast (2002)

While a number of state and local governments in the Southeast (and particularly in North Carolina) are facing some of the largest budget shortfalls in the last fifty years, planners continue to face serious challenges in their local communities: stimulating economic development while growing smarter, creating economic opportunities in downtowns and inner cities while promoting a more livable environment, providing access to jobs while ensuring a range of transportation options for citizens. As one wave subsides, another emerges to threaten the delicate sand castles that planners attempt to build and manage. This issue of Carolina Planning reviews a variety of those challenges.

Editors: Naomi Cytron, David Kiddoo, Jane Sibley, and Richard E. Thorsten

A digital version of this issue is available here.

Promoting Pedestrian-Friendly Design in Downtown Redevelopment

Philip Hervey

This article examines how cities regulate downtown urban design and the effect of these approaches in shaping the built environment. The article looks at several cities to demonstrate how design standards and guidelines have raised the bar for downtown development – affecting the design of not only buildings but also streetscape improvements and public spaces. The article surveys downtown design standards in Denver, Austin, Durham, and Chapel Hill, and compares recent downtown projects in Greensboro with the goals of these standards.

Growth in the Southeast: Trends and Choices

Trip Pollard

Population and economic growth in the Southeastern United States over the last decade has generated large-scale land consumption and exacerbated traffic congestion, according to this article. Air pollution has risen, affecting human health and nearby forest ecosystems. Water quality and quantity has declined, and the region is losing a tremendous amount of biodiversity and habitat. The article reviews the fiscal and economic costs of sprawl, as well as its’ impacts on equity within urban areas. The article later reviews opportunities for land use and transportation reform in the Southeast, as well as barriers that prevent the adoption of more focused policies.

A Tribute to John A. Parker

Carolina Planning Editors

When is Infill “Smart?” Smart Growth Principles Tested in Raleigh

Daniel A. Howe

When a controversial infill proposal challenges the definition of “smart,” planners turn to mediation as a tool to separate the issues from the rhetoric. In this article, the process of winnowing out what “Smart Growth” means, the role of planners in this debate, and the utilization of mediation techniques are discussed in the context of a planned development review.

Charlotte’s Equity Loan Program: A Model for Financing Inner-City Redevelopment

Anne Scorza

This article reviews equity loan programs for inner city neighborhoods in Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina. The author explains the need for capital in inner cities, and then discusses the role of lending in neighborhood development. Three similar programs – Phoenix’s collateral development program, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Administration’s New Markets Initiative, and the Corporation for Enterprise Development’s Individual Development Accounts – are overviewed and compared with Charlotte’s City Within A City equity program. The author provides a set of recommendations for beginning such a program in Greensboro and other North Carolina cities.