"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
If you've lived around here for the last 30 years, you've probably heard talk of Charlotte becoming a "World Class City."
Well, over the past decade, we've shown signs of that becoming a reality.
We have a vibrant up town area, major league sports franchises, and we're hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is now the sixth busiest in the world.
And the Charlotte metro area is the fastest-growing urban region* in the nation over the last ten years.
But let's not kid ourselves.
Becoming an ever-larger city is going to bring with it some headaches.
Our highways are bumper-to-bumper and getting worse.
We've already faced water rationing.
Crime statistics are up, and revenues are down.
And our school system is facing some major challenges.
The more competition there is for jobs, services, and resources, the more likely tempers will flare.
No doubt other large cities have faced these same issues as they've grown.
And, hopefully, we'll be up to the task.
We'll need some visionary planning…and cooperation between Charlotte and its surrounding communities.
And it's not going to come cheaply.
There's no problem with a city daring to dream.
But how we rise to the challenges – and how we treat each other along the way –
will ultimately determine whether or not Charlotte truly is a "World Class City."
Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.