ICV09 Center City talk w/ Hugh McColl | CLT Blog
ICV09 Center City talk w/ Hugh McColl

ICV09 Center City talk w/ Hugh McColl

Posted on 17 Jun 2009 by Justin Ruckman


photo: Justin Ruckman; view this photo on Flickr

Everybody loves Hugh. As a Charlottean, it’s hard not to.

He had Theater 3 at the Epicentre in the palm of his hand today, talking about Charlotte’s past and what he sees as the future. Here’s a summary.

  • Charlotte’s 2020 plan includes inviting people from all over the county & surrounding counties, on the whole moving beyond 277.
  • There’s nothing more exciting in his time here than linking UNC Charlotte to Uptown, wants to make N Tryon a boulevard all the way to University.
  • Our future demands more density.
  • From his perspective looking out at the city from the towers uptown, the area around Johnson C. Smith occupies high ground with potential, as he says, a “beautiful piece of dirt”.
  • He just spent a week in Europe, mostly Paris, and came away w/ how important open, public, green spaces are for cities.
  • He believes won’t see more high rises any time soon, perhaps for a decade, but doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue more mid-rise development.
  • We need to prioritize, what matters most to our city? The 2020 plan calls for continuing to link our communities together.
  • He thinks it’s important to see Charlotte from above to understand its development and see the big picture.
  • Our medical community is the most undersold asset we have.
  • When we address collaboration between organizations and businesses, we need to have clear targets; what do you want to collaborate on, not just do you or don’t you?

When asked how he defined his vision, Hugh talked about imagining a skycastle — that we need to build a skycastle for our city. It’s a nice thought to think about, the idea of imagining grand solutions to realize practical results.

This all came after a fun short film interviewing McColl from atop the TradeMark building, discussing similar ideas while looking out on the city. Here’s a short preview available on YouTube.

credit: Charlotte Chamber; watch this video on YouTube

Several more pictures from today:

photos: Justin Ruckman; view these photos on Flickr


  1. Jason Keath 18 Jun 2009 at 8:52 AM

    where bouts is the full version of this video?

  2. Dave Potts 18 Jun 2009 at 9:53 AM

    A N. Tryon corridor to UNCC is a fantastic idea, and it’s exciting to think that with McColl behind it, it may actually happen. It’s also great to hear him talk about density and the area around Johnson C. Smith, although characterizing it as a “fantastic piece of dirt” makes me suspicious.

    I think it’s absolutely crucial moving forward though, that new development along N. Tryon or Beatties Ford is executed with the existing residents and businesses in those areas not only in mind, but on board as a driving force behind it. I haven’t had time to watch the clips, but I think we need to be very critical of any plans for those areas that don’t (at the very least) take into consideration the amount of affordable housing and retail space currently available. Whether we’re talking about N. Tryon, Beatties Ford, Wilkinson Blvd., or umpteen other parts of town, people’s homes and businesses (read: lives) are affected when the developers move in.

  3. Mike Rumph 18 Jun 2009 at 12:13 PM

    We have posted the full length McColl video on FindYourCenter.com Link: http://www.findyourcenter.com/my-center-videos/ Thanks for all you coverage! Enjoy!