5 Things To Learn From Uptown Charlotte

Once a poster child for the negative impact of urban renewal, Uptown Charlotte is now a revitalization example for other Sunbelt cities to follow. With that in mind, here are four simple and easy to understand aspects of Charlotte's story that are applicable to any major city.



The grouping of similar things or people positioned or occurring closely together, typically produces a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. With that in mind, one city block filled with ten complimentary businesses will result in more immediate impact on stimulating vibrancy than ten storefronts spread across ten city blocks. Uptown Charlotte serves as a perfect example of clustering of complementing uses within a compact pedestrian scale setting.

Traversing through the center of Uptown Charlotte, at least ten continuous city blocks of Tryon Street are lined with corporate headquarters, museums, hotels, restaurants, retailers and plazas all seamlessly integrated at ground level, providing an urban pedestrian experience generally not felt in Sunbelt cities of Charlotte’s size and age. What a block or two north or south of Tryon and the scene starts to resemble most Sunbelt central business districts with blocks of scorched earth from failed 1970s era urban renewal projects.