Mecklenburg County is growing. One glance around South End or the light rail corridor makes that acutely obvious. In fact, Mecklenburg County is slated to grow by another million people by 2050. So the question is, how do we want to grow?
Mecklenburg Livable Communities, or Livable Meck for short, aims to answer this question.
“Mecklenburg Livable Communities is an initiative designed to bring the community together, to gather resident input and establish a unified vision for how the county will grow into the future” says Marcus Carson (24 year-old Davidson graduate) the Sustainability Manager for Mecklenburg County who is in charge of running Livable Meck.
Livable Meck began in 2012 as the result of a feasibility survey to reduce redundancy amongst organizations and maximize the availability and use of resources within the county.
The two main questions Livable Meck looks to answer are:
(1) What do our communities value?
(2) What do our communities need?
In order to find the answer to these questions, the staff of Livable Meck interviewed some 2,000 county residents through facilitated conversations known as “Resident Work Groups”.
What they discovered highlighted key areas of importance from safety and environmental protection, to technology and economic stimulation – all crucial components to consider when creating a blueprint for the future of our county.
From these community discussions, the Livable Meck staff developed the Mecklenburg County Livable Communities Plan.
Another integral part of Livable Meck is to develop partnerships with organizations, both private and governmental, to establish and implement strategies that meet the communities’ needs.
Livable Meck has partnered with more than 130 organizations throughout the county.
Over the next year these organizations will be meeting in facilitated “think tanks” to discuss opportunities for collaboration and plans of action. Currently there are 11 think tanks covering relevant topics from education to culture connections.
To see all of the think tanks and the topics they will be covering just go to the Livable Meck website.
Mecklenburg County is at a pivotal point of growth.
Today, we have the opportunity to step back and identify what we care about and how we want to evolve as a community. Liveable Meck is the platform for us to make our insights reality. Now is the time to define what is important, and to work together to create plans of action that will influence the significant decisions for the future of Mecklenburg County.
“The beauty of Livable Meck is that it is not a top down authoritarian approach to change, but a ground up movement, based on the vision of the community for a future we are building together.” says Mr. Carson.
If you are interested in getting more involved with Livable Meck just click the “contact” button at the top right corner of the Livable Meck page. Your info will go directly to Marcus Carson and he has yet to turn down anyone who is interested in participating.