Celebrating our first Urbie!

Last month, the board of the NoDa NBA was invited to attend Charlotte’s first Urban Design Awards, the Urbies (think The Dundies from “The Office,” but fewer shenanigans). This awesome event was put on by the City of Charlotte Urban Design Center (UDC) and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte School of Architecture.

When I arrived at the Charlotte Urban Design Center, I noticed some great-looking awards from our very own NoDa neighbor, Joel Bonasera of @makingthingsclt! There was a solid group of people around, ranging from the old-school and innovative Harvey Gantt, to the internet-famous Clayton Sealey (@CLTDevelopment). I’ll admit, I did feel a bit underdressed. But hey, I was just representing NoDa the best way I know how!

During a quick meet and greet, folks were able to mingle and catch up before the start of the award ceremony, and see displays of the other great winners! NoDa was lucky enough to win the award for Great Neighborhood Center. You might ask: What does this mean? Who voted for this? The Urbies are meant to exemplify the importance of urban design throughout our great city. With the now-annual Urban Design Awards, both the UDC and Charlotte School of Architecture will commemorate different parts of our city for their unique qualities. Long term, these awards will hopefully provide a meaningful place for discussion about the city’s innovative forms of urban design.

There were 15 awards in total, given out to various neighborhoods, people, art installations, and even outdoor spaces like the Little Sugar Creek Greenway! A big shout-out to our neighbors and friends in Plaza Midwood, who won for Great Ten-Minute Neighborhood! A diverse 10-member jury, including our often-referenced Tom Hanchett, discussed at length and then meticulously selected who would receive each award.

I was honored to be able to attend the ceremony and to represent the NoDa NBA in receiving the Urbie award for Great Neighborhood Center. Fortunately for everyone in attendance, I did not have to give a speech! I am obviously in full agreement with the jury for its recognition of our unique, eclectic, and amazing neighborhood, and I know I am not alone in that sentiment. There are many varying aspects of our neighborhood that make it great – think of how many folks from out of town, a nearby town, or directly from Charlotte, walk up and down North Davidson and 36th streets, and all of the other side streets, and are able to enjoy the street art, murals, shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, and breweries we offer. It’s practically innumerable. Between staples like Evening Muse, Pura Vida, Growlers, and Local Loaf, and relative newcomers like Mac Tabby, TAC gallery, and The Exchange, how could we not be recognized for Great Neighborhood Center?!

A big thank you to the City of Charlotte UDC and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte School of Architecture, and all the jurors who chose NoDa!

Here’s a link for more info: charlottenc.gov/newsroom/cityhighlights/Pages/Urban-Design-Awards.aspx