Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Views from above Atlanta to Salt Lake City

I'm attending a conference in Salt Lake City, so I thought I'd share some images from the trip here.

After departing Atlanta, I soon saw the mighty Mississippi River, with oxbow lakes remaining from previous bends of the river (below).

Next, we passed over the gently undulating Ozark Mountains (below).

I knew we'd crossed the Mississippi and were approaching the 100th meridian, the line of longitude that divides irrigated land from "the wet East" (below).

The further west we fly, the contrast between "wet" and dry became increasingly stark.. Here's a cool view of a town defined by hydrological boundaries (below)! See the river course?

I knew we'd hit the Front Range of the Rockies when snow appeared (below)!

We then passed from Colorado into south central Utah (I hear an Ice Cube joke somewhere) and passed over amazing amounts of more snow (below)!

As we descended into Salt Lake City, I saw some interesting juxtapositions of urban and natural systems. The new subdivisions next to perfectly circular irrigated fields were especially thought-provoking - if they have to irrigate alfalfa, how much water's needle for lawns and swimming pools? (below)

And of course, how could you miss this Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) anchored by a church (below).

Finally, there's the view from the hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, a surreal mix of skyscrapers and mountains, looking west (first image below) and east toward the Wasatch Range (second image).

Friday, May 2, 2014

East and West Charlotte: Just as Important as South End or Uptown

This is a short-notice posting, but it's too important not to share. (just got the info from a neighbor)

Cities thrive or take a dive based on their neighborhoods, which is why an advocacy group for West and East Charlotte is holding its first meeting tomorrow:
Saturday May 3, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 610 E. 7th St., Charlotte (Carole Hoefener Community Center).

Communities United for Action is the group that started after conversations between John Autry, Charlotte City Councilmember (District 5, East Charlotte), and Aaron McKeithan, Historic West End Partners.  The idea for the group began in 2013 when Charlotte's CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar was under City Council consideration.

The streetcar line is promised as a tool for economic development and transportation from the Rosa Parks Transit Center (West Charlotte) to the Eastland Mall site (East Charlotte), and is part of a larger discussion of Charlotte's "Wedge of Wealth" (South Charlotte) bearing a larger tax burden than the "Crescent of Poverty" (West and East Charlotte).  Admittedly, these are sweeping terms, but they get the basic idea across that West and East Charlotte need revitalization, both for their neighborhoods' own sake, and for the larger city's quality of life and fiscal health.

Come out to the meeting and learn about efforts to improve West and East Charlotte, as their health is critical to all of Charlotte.