Prior to launching CONNECT Beyond, the Centralina Council of Governments led two complementary regional visioning and planning initiatives: the CONNECT Our Future Project and the Regional Transit Engagement Series.

CONNECT Our Future

CONNECT Our Future was a regional growth planning initiative to guide the future growth and development for our region. This three-year planning process included 14 counties from both North Carolina and South Carolina, and engaged 120 local governments and over 8,400 public stakeholders. The central outcome of the CONNECT Our Future project was the establishment of a Regional Growth Framework that will help guide the future growth of the greater Charlotte region over the next 30 years, as well as an enhanced understanding of area residents and leaders’ perspectives about how our region should grow and develop.

Ten Growth Priorities Identified during the CONNECT Our Future Project:

  • 1 More jobs closer to home
  • 2 Improve access to parks and open spaces
  • 3 Increase air quality
  • 4 Improve water quality
  • 5 Increase housing choices
  • 6 Increase transportation choices
  • 7 Maximize return on public investments
  • 8 Reduce commuting costs
  • 9 Support local farms
  • 10 Support our communities

Regional Transit Engagement Series

Following the conclusion of the CONNECT Our Future project, CCOG partnered with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to lead a two-year community engagement process called the Regional Transit Engagement Series (RTES).

From 2017 to 2019, the RTES process included engagement events and workshops that involved a wide variety of public stakeholders, including municipal and county elected officials and managers and county transit agency staff, economic development professionals, representatives from major healthcare and academic institutions, major employers, and land use and transportation planners. From this engagement series, CCOG learned more about local transit related needs, barriers, and opportunities, how local communities could benefit from additional coordination, and what elements from a regional transit plan would be most beneficial to their community.

What our partners had to say:

How will a Regional Mobility Plan help your community?

“No babies are delivered in medical facilities in Anson County. Coordinating cross-county medical trips is critical.”

- Anson County

“Daily routes are handwritten; coordinated software would make us more efficient…”

- Stanly County

“Opportunity to coordinate fare media, number of transfers, gaps in time for connections between Charlotte and Salisbury VA hospital.”

- Rowan County

“Makes us eligible for more/different funding…”

- Cabarrus County

“Help us market our community and region for jobs.”

- Gaston County