Gaston

Jul 25, 2018
On a preserved tract in Gaston County, one determined man is fighting a long-term war to remove the invasive plant species that choke out native plants and wildlife.
Jul 09, 2018
A new report finds Charlotte and its region are underperforming in many measurements of its local food economy. 
Aug 09, 2017
As the Charlotte region urbanizes, scientists from UNC Charlotte describe how they’ll use a Gaston County site as a long-term observatory to monitor natural systems.
Sep 07, 2016
Transportation planning in the greater Charlotte region is split among five planning groups. Will a federal push to consolidate make a difference?
Jul 12, 2016
Gastonia’s huge Loray Mill held its grand opening in March 2015, showing off the adaptive reuse of the building. Now the nonprofit Preservation North Carolina aims to restore many of the houses in the nearby mill village.
Apr 13, 2016
Charlotte's George E. Davis, a tireless advocate for education and one of the leading advocates for the building of Rosenwald schools, was a major reason that a number of these schools were built in North Carolina.
Apr 12, 2016
Only a fraction of the Rosenwald Schools remain, reminders of a remarkable early 20th-century partnership of rural black communities in the South and a Jewish philanthropist from Chicago. Those remaining in Mecklenburg range from lovingly restored to painfully dilapidated.
Dec 14, 2015
The old planners’ joke is that Americans hate two things for their cities—urban sprawl and high density. PlanCharlotte examined where in this metro region multifamily is, and where it isn’t. Some communities, hoping to attract more Millennials, want more multifamily. Others’ long-range plans discourage multifamily development.
Nov 30, 2015
In what local preservationists call a major victory, a century-old depot—the deteriorating relic of a lost era of Charlotte-Gastonia passenger rail—will be moved a short distance and repaired.
Oct 22, 2015
The term “Latino,” like “Hispanic,” covers many different countries and cultures. The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute decided to map the home countries of the Charlotte region region’s foreign-born Latino immigrants.
Feb 23, 2015
No tree on the Rankin property was more prized by those who lived there than the southern red oak known as the Rankin Oak. But its main influence was on the lives of those who lived under its massive branches. What became of the huge tree?
Jan 28, 2015
Planners and others say alcohol sales are a primary catalyst for attracting the development of restaurants and stores. Government officials like the extra tax revenue. But in some places, voters still say no.
Jan 21, 2015
Most people around the Gaston County town of Stanley today know nothing about fox hunting. No one hunts foxes here anymore. Once upon a time, however, things were different.
Oct 22, 2014
Since the 2008 housing crash, there’s been talk of Americans downsizing and Millennials rejecting large houses. But recent U.S. Census data show that in the Charlotte area, homes only got bigger after 2000.
Sep 24, 2014
Recently the site FiveThirtyEight.com reported that of the largest U.S. metros, only Charlotte’s median income, “experienced a statistically significant decline” in 2013. What’s going on?
Jul 23, 2014
Redlair Farm & Forest in Gaston County has been named an N.C. Plant Conservation Program preserve, providing recognition to the unusual native plants that make their home on the property - including the imperiled bigleaf magnolia. (Photo: Crystal Cockman)
May 15, 2014
Interactive data dashboards track Gaston County trends in demographics, economy, education, health and quality of life. (Graph: ui.uncc.edu)
Apr 17, 2014
Our Regional Indicators website now has a new home on the institute’s main website. You’ll find all the data that was on the previous site, but with improved functionality and a new look.
Apr 15, 2014
Find the story in the numbers. See below to explore facts about Gaston County from among 11 topic areas, and see how Gaston compares to the metro region and the state. Learn more about Gaston PlanCharlotte.org articles about Gaston Mapping growth in Gaston...
Apr 03, 2014
Since 2010, the home counties of Charlotte and Raleigh have accounted for nearly half of all population growth in North Carolina. Just 10 N.C. counties tallied nearly 80 percent of the state's increased population. (Image: John Chesser, Tableau maps)
Oct 24, 2013
Many people believe early European settlers found an unbroken canopy of trees sheltering the N.C. Piedmont. However, says author Reed Noss, a few generations ago grasslands were abundant across the South. Today they’re rare. Article includes photo gallery of preserved grasslands. (Photo: Laura Fogo)
Oct 08, 2013
An artists’ colony in downtown Gastonia? That may sound far-fetched to those who remember Gastonia's textile mill past. But the Community Foundation of Gaston County is working with the nonprofit Artspace to build a project in Gastonia by 2016. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Sep 16, 2013
Charlotte-area residents will have an additional opportunity to voice their opinion on the region’s growth. A fourth Mecklenburg County workshop will be held Oct. 24 at Freedom Park as part of the  “CONNECT Our Future” planning program. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Aug 29, 2013
Between 2006 and 2013, the rate of N.C. high school students graduating on time (in four years) rose from 68.3 percent to 82.5 percent. The state's two largest districts, Wake and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, now have the same rate, 81 percent. Explore data for all N.C. districts with our interactive dashboards. (Photo: iStock)
Aug 29, 2013
Click here to read the article that explains this data dashboard.
Aug 15, 2013
The right combination of protective hedges, sun-absorbing walls and a southern exposure can turn a corner of your yard into a tropical microclimate ­– especially in a rain-soaked year like this one. (Photo: Ruth Ann Grissom)
Jul 23, 2013
Mushrooms, like those sprouting in Piedmont lawns this rainy summer, have been a decades-long avocation for Allein Stanley, a nationally recognized expert who at 84 is still helping Gastonia’s Schiele Museum add to its collections. (Photo: Amber Veverka)
Jul 10, 2013
A photo gallery from Nancy Pierce and Mae Israel showing the redevelopment of historic textile mills in Gastonia and Rock Hill. To read the related article, click here. 
Jul 10, 2013
It’s no secret the Charlotte region has seen a huge influx of newcomers, with homes built by the thousands. New Census data show the high percentage of homes that are only a few years old. With interactive, county-by-county data.
Jul 01, 2013
Gastonia and Rock Hill: two former textile towns, each with a large and empty old mill in the middle of town. How are they working to use Gastonia’s Loray Mill and Rock Hill’s old Bleachery site for economic development? (Photo: Mae Israel)
May 31, 2013
Aided by a $5 million federal grant, residents and businesses throughout the 14-county Charlotte region are engaged in a process to envision the region's best future and create a roadmap for getting there. This interactive article describes the process, plans and players for CONNECT Our Future. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Apr 25, 2013
In the Carolinas, only Charlotte’s metro area tops 2 million people. Raleigh is roughly half that size, 1.2 million. No other Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the Carolinas top 1 million in population. But some of that is because the Triangle is not one MSA, nor is the Triad. (Bing Maps image shows the Carolinas without political boundaries.)
Apr 24, 2013
A moody night-time shot of a more than 200-year-old house outside Huntersville, and a sliver of a moon over uptown Charlotte. Those photos, by Kevin J. Beaty, were what took the top honors in PlanCharlotte.org's one-year anniversary photo contest. Click here to see all the winning photos. (...
Apr 24, 2013
A moody night-time shot of a more than 200-year-old house outside Huntersville, and a sliver of a moon over uptown Charlotte. Those photos, by Kevin J. Beaty, were what cinched top honors in PlanCharlotte.org's one-year anniversary photo contest. (Photo: Kevin J. Beaty)
Apr 17, 2013
An implied threat Monday from Charlotte City Council to withdraw support for the proposed Monroe Bypass is more fallout from an increasingly fractious battle over Charlotte’s airport.  And now, that battle might be putting at risk some long-nurtured regional cooperation. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Mar 28, 2013
In January, the Charlotte metro area population was 1.8 million people. In February, the metro area population was 2.3 million. Where did the half-million people come from? New boundaries were drawn for metropolitan statistical areas. (Photo: Downtown Chester, S.C., in Chester County, which was added to the Charlotte MSA. / Nancy Pierce)
Mar 28, 2013
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 153,015 individuals who worked in Mecklenburg County commuted from another county in the Charlotte MSA – among the highest number of county-to-county commuters in the U.S. (Photo: Nancy Pierce) 
Mar 17, 2013
Updated census data shows a continued pattern of growth focused on the center of urban areas, reversing the trend of stronger suburban growth seen in the last decade.
Feb 28, 2013
Local perceptions may not have caught up with the new reality in the Charlotte region’s manufacturing economy. Even before the recession began in 2007, declines in the textile and furniture industries were changing the structure of local employment. As the downturn continued, counties that depended less on textile and furniture manufacturing lost fewer jobs. The result: Several counties traditionally considered centers of manufacturing employment, such as Gaston, now have a smaller percentage of jobs in manufacturing than fast-growing Union.
Feb 28, 2013
Huntersville Town Hall was the setting for Wednesday afternoon’s public information meeting about HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes proposed on I-77. HOT lanes are a red-hot topic, and citizens were vocal about their concerns. Is the region ready to accept pay-as-you-go highways? (Photo: Melissa Currie)
Feb 14, 2013
Times have been tough in the local economy, but it looks as if we’ve finally turned the corner. If growth is starting to make a comeback, exactly where will it be? Is your county ready? (Photo:  U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office)
Oct 25, 2012
Charlotte has lagged much of the country in this period of economic recovery, but the region has finally begun to see a few small signs of better days on the horizon. Over the past several months, there has been gradual improvement in the unemployment rate and home price index in the region. These bright spots are welcome news in a region that continues to suffer the effects of the Great Recession.
Oct 16, 2012
Public health is something every community strives for.  In our region, Gaston County is no exception.  Gaston County has recently experienced a reduction in the percent of adults who are obese by raising awareness of the importance of prevention and keeping individuals healthy.
Oct 02, 2012
The Charlotte metro was definitely a hotbed of growth for the state during the past decade. But the pattern within the metro region is uneven, with much of the strongest population increases concentrated in areas north and south of Charlotte.
Sep 27, 2012
Over the past decade, Gaston County has experienced a decline in the crime rate, helping to create a safer community for residents and visitors alike.  This is good news for a county that encompasses one of the largest populations in the Charlotte region.
Sep 26, 2012
These maps show a breakdown of the SAT scores for school districts in the Charlotte region.
Sep 12, 2012
In spite of the higher levels of unemployment Charlotte has experienced in this downturn, its relatively educated workforce appears to be a long-term strength – but is it? How does Charlotte compare to other metros? These maps allow you to explore education and employment among the largest U.S. metro regions.
Aug 17, 2012
Photos by Nancy Pierce Click here to read related story.
Aug 17, 2012
In the wake of the financial crash, many real estate developments across the Charlotte region appear frozen in various stages of construction. But a few of these so-called “zombie subdivisions” may be reviving, as developers regain their financial footing and, in some cases, propose new plans. (Click here for a photo gallery of abandoned subdivisions in and around Charlotte.)
Aug 08, 2012
How much are homes in your neighborhood worth? The era of upside-down mortgages and foreclosures has left homeowners across the country anxious about home values – theirs and their neighbors'. In the midst of this housing market upheaval, explosive growth in the Charlotte region has reshaped residential patterns.