Open Streets

Project Objective

Develop a roadmap for the future growth and expansion of Open Streets 704. Create a sustainable foundation for open streets in Charlotte to thrive.

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  • Date: 2017-2018
  • City: Charlotte, NC
  • Partners: Open Streets 704
  • Funding provided in part by: Open Streets 704

Founded in 2015, Open Streets 704 saw more than 60,000 participants walk, run, bike and roll across four program dates over two years. The program got off to a fantastic start, with communities across the city asking for open streets to come to their neighbourhood. With successful proof of concept in hand, the focus for Open Streets 704 organizers became on building a sustainable model for program growth and expansion. They brought 8 80 Cites in to help chart that path forward and draft the roadmap for the future of open streets in Charlotte.

In September 2017, 8 80 Cities created a survey for key Open Streets 704 organizers, supporters and stakeholders. The survey sought to establish the overall strategic goals and values of the program. These values and vision statements served to underpin the entire roadmap, acting as the lens through which to view future discussions about the direction of Open Streets 704.

The next step saw 8 80 Cities conduct an on-site audit of the October 15, 2017 Open Streets 704 program date. The audit identified areas where the organizing team could streamline program delivery and improve the quality of the open streets experience. During the audit, 8 80 Cities conducted surveys and interviewed key program and business stakeholders along the route as well as program participants. The audit focussed on the quality of the route, the efficiency of the operations team, the diversity of program activities and local businesses’ engagement with the program.

The third phase of the project saw 8 80 Cities create and hold a series of workshops, discussions and presentations in the winter of 2018 with program organizers, city staff, elected officials, local businesses, potential sponsors and community leaders. The goal of these exercises was to combine the results of the first two steps into complete, implementable action items focusing on four key areas: Route Planning, Organizational Structure, Building Awareness and Inclusion and Equity.

Putting together the findings from all three steps, 8 80 Cites created a final report, the Roadmap for future growth and expansion of Open Streets 704. Containing 20 recommendations on everything from the placement of volunteers at intersections to securing sponsorship to developing a framework to select future program routes, the roadmap will serve as a guide for decision making in Charlotte for years to come.

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