ENR Southeast recognizes its “Owners of the Year” based on a variety of reasons. Oftentimes, this recognition, bestowed yearly to one deserving entity based in the Southeast region, is based upon the volume and scope of projects initiated during the preceding year. But not always.

For this year’s “Owner of the Year,” the City of Charlotte, N.C., the recognition stems as much from the city’s plans for the future as it does from current projects. In 2021, when so many of us are looking ahead to a post-pandemic future—sure to be different in many ways than our recent past—the selection of a forward-looking organization such as Charlotte seems appropriate.

Including its ongoing updates at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport—where a $600-million terminal expansion is underway, including a $250-million Phase 1 contract—the city is taking multiple steps to enhance civic mobility and otherwise preparing for the challenges of the future.

In February 2020, for example, Charlotte announced its participation in the Duke Energy Green Source Advantage Program, enabling it to move forward with a 35-megawatt, utility-scale solar energy project and making it the nation's most populous city to acquire new renewable energy through a utility green tariff. The solar energy project helps advance the City’s Strategic Energy Action Plan, adopted in 2018, that steers Charlotte to become a “low-carbon city” by 2050.

Perhaps most notably, in December the city approved moving forward on an ambitious $8B-$12B mobility plan that calls for building rapid transit corridors, creating bike and pedestrian “superhighways,” and improving the city’s roadway network’s safety, capacity and connectivity. Suggested to be constructed over a 10-year period, the plan builds upon the mobility brought about by the city’s existing light-rail system.

ENR Southeast is “looking forward” to expand upon these and other initiatives by the city in our upcoming March 1 print edition.