Thursday, July 2, 2020

Take a Placemaking Project Street Mural Tour

You’ve probably heard about the giant Black Lives Matter mural on Tryon St uptown (if you haven’t been, make time to go; it’s compelling). Did you know there’s another mural movement quietly hitting the streets (quite literally) this summer?

In June, the City of Charlotte's Urban Design Center and the Office of Sustainability had local artists from the city's Placemaking Artist pool install street murals that capture the impact of COVID-19 and the resiliency and sustainability of Charlotte in 15 locations across town.

Charlotte launched the Placemaking Program in 2018 with the goal of using urban design to transform underutilized public spaces into vibrant places.

This summer's Placemaking Project is one of many creative ways that the Urban Design Center is working to enhance public spaces and promote community collaboration. Some of the other programs they facilitate include Adopt-a-Street, community gardens, decorative signages, and cabinet wraps.

We discovered our first Placemaking Project mural, marked with a yard sign, on a greenway near our house. Then another next to our neighborhood playground. Curious, I did some research and found a super handy interactive map of all fifteen projects. The next day, we took a bike tour of some of the other nearby murals.

While the murals are easily accessible (all are located on Shared Streets, greenways or low-traffic neighborhood roads), there's an exciting scavenger hunt element to finding them, which makes it especially fun for kids. And the artwork is remarkable. You can learn more about the pieces and their artists on the map as you go.

We found it fun to make a tour of this new public artwork, but I'd argue it's worth your while to pick one or two pieces to find when you're out. Each tells its own story and represents a piece of what makes Charlotte a place we can all feel proud to call home.

How to get there:
You'll find mural addresses as well as information about the artwork and artists on this interactive map. Many are located within a few miles of each other. Create your own tour, or pick one nearby.

Don't forget to pack:
  • Comfortable walking shoes or your bike and helmet
  • Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses
  • Water


  1. Love these public art displays, popping up everywhere in Charlotte! I especially love the big murals in the Trader Joe’s parking area and the ones in Gastonia. We also like finding the ArtPop displays on newsstands uptown, and billboards throughout the city, and the new Windows of Hope displays coming soon! ��❤️

    1. Love all of these suggestions! ArtPop displays are wonderful. And I hadn't heard of Windows of Hope, but now am eager to check out those pieces when they're done! Thanks!