Do you read Mary Newsom's blog, The Naked City, over at the Observer? If you're at all interested in development, sprawl, storm water issues and urban flooding (which can be caused by the first two) and things of that nature, then you should.*
Check out her post from yesterday here. In it, she discusses a potential fate for some of the "McMansions" in our area. Maybe they'll become apartments some day (sooner than later most likely), kinda like those 1920s-era mansions that now house a handful of living quarters each.
That's cool, I suppose, though a lot of those "McMansions" aren't in urban settings which would make them even more cool.
What would be cooler still is if developers would plan with the future in the forefront of their minds instead of putting their wallets in that position.
Developer guys (and gals), please stop it with the sprawl. Stop pushing the boundaries of our city further and further out and away from Charlotte's urban core with little thought given to how we'll get to the store, traffic congestion and links to public transportation. And, we need sidewalks; we need to be able to walk to the stores we frequent. Moreover, not everyone wants a giant water-hungry yard with cheap trees and bushes that will become a nightmare to manage after a few years.
Think! Build and plant with droughts and busy schedules and healthy habits in mind. Never forget: We're all in this together.
We need you to be thoughtful about your designs for our living quarters, neighborhoods and the surrounding communities. Help us conserve energy, both inside our house and out. (Example: walk more, drive less.) Help us capture and reuse storm water; that will save us money, make our yards happy and help preserve area streams and our river all at once.
Put us the greater Charlotte community first, not your sales and profits. If you do that, if you demonstrate your thoughtfulness and love for this community during this re-branding period ("green energy hub"), the money will follow.
*Another good local blog on this topic is Going Green by The Charlotte Business Journal's Susan Stabley.
Rhiannon Fionn-Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.