Great Places 2019 Winners

Professional’s Category: Great Street Rail Trail, Charlotte The Charlotte Rail Trail is not really a street, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. The aptly named Rail Trail is two and a half miles of asphalt and concrete pathway running parallel to the LYNX Blue Line light rail corridor as it passes through South End, one of Charlotte’s most dynamic neighborhoods. The evolution of the Rail Trail over the last dozen years is directly tied to the remarkable transformation of the South End neighborhood from a gritty warehousing and industrial district into one of the hottest residential neighborhoods in the South. Charlotte’s Rail Trail is a place for free expression and experimentation. Artists and makers have practically free reign to use the trail to display artwork, sculpture, and installations intended for the enjoyment of Trail users, with little or no official interference. Like all great streets, the Rail Trail is multi-functional. Aside from being a transportation facility and neighborhood gathering place, the Rail Trail is South End’s most prominent public common open space, a linear neighborhood park in an area sorely lacking in such places. It is a place where residents gather to meet up with friends, people watch, and see and be seen. The Charlotte Rail Trail is, by any measure, now the center of the South End neighborhood.   Professional’s Category: Great Street in the Making Queen Street, Kinston Queen Street in Kinston was once a thriving downtown street, a wide thoroughfare with entertainment and restaurants, but this city, like many others, felt the loss of the tobacco industry in the region and has...

Great Places 2018 Winners

Professional’s Category: Great Main Street Main Street, Sylva Main Street in Sylva blends the town’s rich cultural history with a vibrant downtown atmosphere and the surrounding beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Main Street is anchored by the Jackson County historic courthouse, the most photographed courthouse in North Carolina. From its perch 107 steps above Main Street, this Nationally Registered Historic site houses the County library, the Genealogical Society, the Historical Society, and provides community meeting space. Sweeping down the hill from the Courthouse, locals and visitors alike are treated to an eclectic blend of retail shops, restaurants, breweries, cocktail bars, book stores, and residential apartments all located within buildings that are a part of Sylva’s Nationally Registered Historic District. Main Street also serves as the epicenter for Sylva’s annual festivals, parades, and community events. The one of a kind appeal of Main Street Sylva is undeniable, even in Hollywood. Main Street was cast as Ebbing, Missouri in the 2017 Golden Globe and Oscar winning movie “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. Although Ebbing is a fictional town, Main Street is very real and continues to be the cultural center of Sylva’s vibrant downtown. Main Street, Waxhaw Downtown Waxhaw has thrived throughout the years by its ability to evolve. Waxhaw started as a mill town, then reinvented itself as a destination for antiques, and is now becoming Union County’s hub for diverse retail shops, award-winning eating and drinking establishments, local artisans, and cultural events. The downtown is split by the railroad track with Main Street on each side. An overhead pedestrian bridge joins the two, and when trains roll through...

Sign up for the Mentor-Match Program

Author: Nate Baker, Co-chair, Young Planners Group The Young Planners Group is hosting the Mentor-Match program again this year and we need your help in making this important opportunity possible. The program allows young planners or planning students (mentees) to match up with experienced planners or planners who have been in the profession for over two years (mentors). YPG will then continue to facilitate communication through social events and web-based communication. Guidance may include: Professional development, job hunting, learning about career paths, involvement in APA Conference session recommendations, professional networking Learning more about the planning the profession You will have a chance to meet your mentor/mentee face-to-face on Wednesday, September 27th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm during the APA-NC Welcome Reception and on Thursday September 28th at the Membership and Diversity Mixer starting at 6:30pm. We will provide some basic guidance to kick things off and you can also connect at other times for lunch, other sessions, or events. In addition to other social events, YPG will host a March Mentor Meetup in the spring. Please see below for instructions and more details. Mentors Are you a seasoned professional who can provide career advice to the next generation of planners? Do you have advice to share about planning in North Carolina? Are you a veteran of the APA NC Conference and willing to share your expertise and tips? As a mentor you will be matched up with an emerging professional who is attending the conference and has signed up for the program. If you would like to be a mentor apply here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TQYYTGV Mentees Are you new to planning in North...
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