• Rainbow chard growing in winter. Photo: Ruth Ann Grissom

    In the Piedmont, green veggies can grow year-round

    I don't let my ground lie fallow. My 8-foot-by-8-foot vegetable plot is prominent in my front yard, so I feel some pressure to make it productive – and keep it somewhat attractive – year round.
  • Associate Professor Sara Gagné sits in front of posters showing insect species. Photo: Mary Newsom

    How can wildlife co-exist with city development? This researcher looks for answers.

    For 2017, the KEEPING WATCH initiative focuses on wildlife habitat in our urban ecosystem. editor Mary Newsom talked with UNC Charlotte’s Sara Gagné, who researches landscape ecology.
  • Then-Mayor Anthony Foxx at the launch of Charlotte's bike share program in 2012. Photo: Mary Newsom

    Lemons to lemonade, streetcar hopes: Foxx reflects

    Should the regional transit commission take on operating costs for the Charlotte streetcar? Former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx makes that suggestion in an interview while reflecting on his tenure as U.S. transportation secretary.
  • Migrating Tennessee warbler is banded in 2015 photo. Photo: Ruth Ann Grissom

    Revised N.C. wildlife plan targets species, habitats

    Unlike game species that are hunted and fished, species like migratory songbirds and aquatic mussels have not benefited from as much funding over the years. But North Carolina’s newly revised wildlife action plan is one tool that can help.
  • New demographic research is showing that charter schools are more segregated than traditional public schools. Photo: iStock

    As charters and choice expand, so does segregation

    As charter school enrollment expands, statistics show they are more segregated than traditional public schools. Are they more effective? Research is inconclusive. A look at charter schools in the Charlotte region and their relationship to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
  • Best wishes for a happy holiday season

    The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute wishes you a warm and wonderful holiday season. UNC Charlotte and the institute will be closed starting Dec. 23, reopening Jan. 3. 
  • Rubble pile marks the remains of a now-demolished Cannon Mills textile plant that once dominated downtown Kannapolis. In the background are buildings of the N.C. Research Campus, which today occupies the mill site. Photo: Mary Newsom

    Mending the rips in our rural-suburban-urban fabric

    Over our 50-year history at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, we’ve been committed to looking at the whole Charlotte region. So a growing divide – real or perceived – among urban, suburban and rural areas is something we take seriously.
  • Carrion beetle on a pawpaw fruit. Photo: Fritz Flohr Reynolds, via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

    When yucky work is required, these beetles step up

    You may not like thinking about what they do, but carrion beetles, which help clean up our roadsides and landscapes, perform invaluable public service.
  • Atlanta skyline. Photo: David Hunter [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]

    Raised in Charlotte, he now runs the planning show in Atlanta

    Charlotte for years has had a love-hate view of Atlanta, envying its vigor but not its sprawl and traffic congestion. Last year a Charlottean became Atlanta’s planning director. Tim Keane grew up in Charlotte and went on to be planning director in Davidson, and Charleston. In this interview he offers his thoughts on Charlotte, Charleston and Atlanta.
  • Police in Baltimore during protests of Freddie Gray's death. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images. For link to Getty Images, see image in article.

    Soul-searching by police, community: Some lessons

    Incidents involving alleged and/or proven use of excessive police force against minority citizens followed by protests have sparked soul-searching by public officials and calls for action. Recent police-community conversations in Charlotte and Wilmington offer three lessons for the future.