Smart Charlotte Empowered by Technology

​​What is Smart Charlotte?

We’re building a Smart Charlotte! Working with community partners, we’re improving city services, infrastructure, sustainability, and quality of life for our residents. These enhancements will enable innovation, digital access and inclusion, connectivity, and economic mobility in our community.  Smart Charlotte…empowered by technology.

​Access Charlotte Public Wi-Fi

The digital divide in the City of Charlotte has intensified, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the increasing need for remote work and virtual learning has grown significantly.

The city recognizes this urgency and is accelerating its commitment for public Wi-Fi on transit, and in neighborhoods and public spaces throughout Charlotte. In addition to meeting an immediate need for students and families, public Wi-Fi will boost economic mobility for Charlotte residents.

In addition to public Wi-Fi, the City is investing in partnerships that will increase digital access and digital literacy throughout Charlotte:

  • Learning Labs – this partnership with United Way will provide computers and technology equipment to community centers and remote learning sites throughout Charlotte, with an emphasis on the Corridors of Opportunity and other areas of need.

​Charlotte Public Wi-Fi Locations


​Wi-Fi Locations

  • Grier Heights Neighborhood with five locations including the Community Center on Burkland Avenue, Harmony Place on Sam Drenan Road, Grierton Square Townhomes on Grierton Court, Grier Park Apartments on Marney Avenue, and Randolph Hills Apartments. In partnership with Crossroads Corporation, Longleaf Foundation, Laurel Street Residential, and Vantage 78.

  • Renaissance West and Little Rock Apartments at West Boulevard and Billy Graham Parkway. In partnership with Renaissance West Community Initiative, Laurel Street Residential, and Inlivian.

  • Brightwalk Apartments along Statesville Avenue including The Stevenson near Samuel Street, The McNeel near Kohler Ave, The Alexander between Pat Garrett Street and Badger Court, and The Gables near Kohler Avenue. In partnership with DreamKey Partners.

  • The Mezzanine at Freedom Apartments between Camp Greene Street and Pacific Street. In partnership with DreamKey Partners .

  • Lake Mist Apartments on Old Pineville Road near Archdale Drive. In partnership with Ascent Real Estate Group.

  • Sharon Oaks Apartments on N Sharon Amity Road near Monroe Road. In partnership with Laurel Street Residential and Ascent Real Estate Group.

  • The Ritz at Washington Heights at the corner of Beatties Ford Road and Tate Street. In partnership with Corridors of Opportunity, the City of Charlotte’s Placemaking Program, Lowes Home Improvement, and the Historic Washington Heights Community.

  • Lincoln Heights Park on Catherine Simmons Avenue. In partnership with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation.

​Public Wi-Fi FAQ’s

Installation of public wi-fi in public spaces and residential areas will be completed by end of December 2020. Implementation on CATS buses and light rail vehicles will begin in December 2020 and extend through spring 2021.

From a CATS bus or in an area where public wi-fi is provided…On your device, search for the Access Charlotte Wi-Fi network, accept the Terms & Conditions, and you're on your way! Remember, Access Charlotte is a public Wi-Fi network and should be used with care – you should always take steps to protect your personal information when using any Wi-Fi network.

​Microsoft Digital Alliance


The City of Charlotte has a three-year digital alliance and Smart Cities initiative with Microsoft.

The goal of this effort is to create a regional center of excellence in innovation and workforce development, with a sustained commitment to regional Smart Cities startups and innovators.

The public-private initiative aims to increase digital skills along the full continuum of the educational pipeline. Throughout the program, Microsoft will support the City of Charlotte through various volunteer initiatives and will provide hands-on technology training at events throughout the city.

The City of Charlotte and Microsoft have identified five initial focus areas that will leverage technology and education to benefit the city’s residents, businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs:

Safe Neighborhood

Smart Street Lights

Workforce Development

3D Planning and Zoning

Connected Mobility and Neighborhoods

​North End Smart District

North End Smart District (NESD) is a future hotspot for development, attracting new economic activities, particularly centered on technology and innovation sectors. In 2011, NESD was designated as the Applied Innovation Corridor. Funding from Community Investment Plan bonds was earmarked for collaborative, economic development investments to improve the community. NESD focuses on collaborations with the eight neighborhoods in the district.

Smart Cities optimize infrastructure and maximize services and opportunities that enhance the quality of life for residents. Government, companies, universities and community partners collaborate to use innovation and data. This data increases economic opportunities, connectedness, efficiency and grows the potential of residents. Charlotte’s smart city vision includes creating a district that acts as a hub for the city’s innovation engine. The NESD’s innovative approach to Smart Cities is one that ensures residents have a seat at the table making decisions for their community.


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Digital Charlotte logo
Knight Foundation logo
Crossroads logo
Longleaf logo
LaurelStreet logo
Ascent logo
RWCI logo
OpenBroadband logo
DreamKey logo