Sustainable Overlay District (SOD) Methodology

EPA Grant Number: SU833559
Title: Sustainable Overlay District (SOD) Methodology
Investigators: Chilton, Kenneth M. , Walters, David R.
Institution: University of North Carolina at Charlotte
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: August 31, 2007 through July 31, 2008
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2007) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Current zoning ordinances focus on prosperity, addressing people and the planet only after prosperity is assured. Existing land use ordinances promote this condition. New planning tools are needed that better integrate people and the planet into contemporary land use decisions.


This project focuses on crafting a sustainable overlay district for a derelict inner-ring suburban strip center. The initial zoning of the development no longer fits the community’s needs and inhibits sustainable reuses that would integrate economic, social and ecological benefits.


Students will conduct a public meeting to spark dialogue on sustainable redevelopment of the site. A design charette will also be conducted involving community residents, local developers, architects, planners and community organizations. The goal is to integrate planning and design techniques that are performance based. The performance criteria go beyond return on financial investment to include social and ecological factors critical to the long-term sustainability of the city. The sustainability overlay district will be an incubator for the fast-growing Charlotte region’s planning community to experiment with innovative planning techniques.

Supplemental Keywords:

Planning & Zoning; greyfields; scorecards,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final