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Life and Religion

Know the neighbors through City Walks initiative
Pedestrian tours focus on Charlotte communities
 
Published Wednesday, May 4, 2016 2:28 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

PHOTO/CURTIS WILSON
The City Walks program is pedestrian tours of Charlotte communities. The initiative is organized by UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.

To know a neighborhood, spend time there.


City Walks provides pedestrian tours of Charlotte communities, such as May 7 from 1-3 p.m. in Historic West End.

   
“It helps people connect with other people in Charlotte,” said Mary Newsom, associate director of Urban & Regional Affairs at UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and City Walks organizer.  


Historic West End resident Ruth Smith McDonald, artist Jamil Steele and historian Tom Hanchett will lead the May 7 walk.  


From Johnson C. Smith University to the Northwest Corridor history mural Steele had a hand in creating, the tour starts at First Baptist Church West (1801 Oaklawn Ave.) and is accessible to cyclists, children and senior citizens.  


“The idea is to help people get to know the city,” Newsom said. “They meet their neighbors and they hear stories of places they may not know about.”
Since the first walk four years ago, the project continues to increase in scope.  


“We’ve been doing these since 2012,” Newsom said. “This year we have at least 20—there are probably going to be some more, but they haven’t been nailed down yet.”  
As the population of Charlotte continues to increase, knowledge of the city’s history does not necessarily grow in proportion. City Walks strive to educate, connect and inspire not only new denizens, but longtime residents as well.  


“There’s a lot of people who are new to the city, and they don’t know the city very well,” Newsom said. “There’s a lot of people who have lived here for years and know their own part of town, but may not know other parts of town.”

 
For more information about City Walks: citywalksclt.org

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