Neighborhood Development


Airdate: April 5, 2019

Tom Warshauer is Assistant Director, Community Engagement for the City of Charlotte’s Housing & Neighborhood Services Department. In his 29-year career at the City, Tom has worked with business and neighborhood groups to enhance quality of life in Charlotte. He is an American Leadership Forum fellow and has served on several community councils and boards, including as chair of the Community Building Initiative and as a founding board member of Equality NC, The Wesley Mancini Foundation and Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund. He is a Human Rights Commission Charlotte Chapter’s Legacy Award Honoree for fostering equity in the Charlotte community. Tom earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture and Fine Arts from Rice University and a Master of Arts in Real Estate from MIT.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in community engagement, neighborhood development, creating a city, and celebrating diverse and authentic lives.   


  • Tom explains how he helps residents become more engaged in their neighborhoods and outlines the role his department is playing in economic mobility efforts.

  • He talks about neighborhood data sets, the common concerns of neighborhoods, and which neighborhoods are getting it right.

  • He discusses about the importance of city markets and what has changed during his 29 years of work in city management.

  • He describes growing up in Wilmington, his family, and being a middle-child who loved Lemon Pledge and go-carting.

  • Tom remembers his excitement moving to New Orleans, loving his time in high school, his nights in the French Quarter, and liking intermission at the Opera.

  • He talks about studying architecture at Rice University, restoring homes in Houston and Wilmington, and earning a master’s degree in real estate at MIT.

  • Tom explains why he stayed in Charlotte and the work he is most proud of in his career.

  • He discusses harvesting fruit from seeds that he has planted, what he has learned about relationships, and what he appreciates about the people in his life. 

plus Mark’s Personal Word Essay: A Young Man from the Provinces

To Learn More About Tom


  • What struck you about Tom’s comments?

  • How do you feel about your neighborhood?

  • What work in your career are you most proud of?

  • What ‘seeds’ have you planted that you do need to harvest?

We invite your posts on our Facebook page.

This episode is sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts, celebrating its 25th year presenting the best in performing arts. 

Further support is provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, one of America’s leading urban public libraries, delivering exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. 

And by the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's resource hub and lead advocate for the regional cultural community, providing Culture for All.

Additional support is provided by the UNC College of Arts + Architecture, celebrating a decade of creative education in the arts and design.