Monday, June 8, 2015

#GovJamCLT Is this Weekend - June 12-14

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 6/08/2015 No comments
The Charlotte Shapers are giving you the opportunity to collaborate on solutions to problems and challenges facing the city. It’s a weekend-long event, dubbed #GovJamCLT (see hash on Twitter), with the goal of helping “Charlotte residents begin to make the increasingly important connections needed between government and those the public sector serves.”

You might be familiar with previous events and initiatives the Charlotte Shapers have done over the last couple of years, such as its annual business idea competition. Part of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, the Charlotte group carries out the international organization’s mission of empowering young leaders (people in their 20s and 30s) to create solutions to problems around the world, essentially one community and city at a time. The Charlotte group’s primary focus is tackling youth unemployment, but they also address a wide range of issues, as you’ll see with #GovJamCLT.

#GovJamCLT Rundown

Date: June 12-14 | Friday, 5:45 - 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Admission: $15; covers all three days (each day that you attend, you get $5 back).
Location: The Junior League of Charlotte, 1332 Maryland Ave.

Part of the Global Gov Jam, when people around the world will come together for 48 hours, #GovJamCLT is open to everyone, and the theme of this “jam” will be announced at the start of the event (but you can presume it will be tied to local government). If you've never participated in an event like this before, all you need to do is come with an open mind and a desire to see positive change where you live.

Get complete details and register for #GovJamCLT at

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I don't know when, but at some point in recent years I developed a fascination with how cities and neighborhoods grow and, essentially, how they're built (or rebuilt). I know it has a lot to do with me having lived in Charlotte for almost a decade now, and the sizable growth I've witnessed here during that time.

So I enjoy reading the many news articles of announcements and updates on new condos, apartment buildings, office towers, hotels, shopping centers (and in many cases a combination of these things, commonly known as "mixed use") being planned and built around the city, that I come across on The Charlotte Observer and Charlotte Business Journal's websites. And, of course, that growth is mirrored (or should be mirrored) in the improvements in infrastructure, such as the final leg of Interstate 485 finally opening, the next phase of the light rail running to University City, and the continued renovations and expansions of Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

And it's the CLT airport stuff that's caused me to geek out. Seriously, since the airport announced, a month ago, the next phase of its development master plan, I've been talking to friends and colleagues about it like it's the Apple Watch or something. The $2.5 billion investment will make the airport more modern, convenient, accessible, and keep up with its crazy growth. Consider this: the airport welcomed 25 million total passengers for the year in 2004; 10 years later, in 2014, the total was 44 million.

Renderings of the planned renovations and expansions at Charlotte's airport. Credit: CLT

You can read about the planned projects, including expanding the terminal and lobby and renovating the concourses. But you'll definitely want to watch the video below, which is what fascinated me. It uses computer generation to show how, most notably, the terminal curb and roadway will be expanded and elevated, with the addition of several new lanes for vehicles dropping off and picking up passengers. And keep in mind, all of this construction will take place while the airport is in full operation, with millions of passengers coming and going each month.

Fascinating. #BarbaraWaltersVoice.

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