Research Report: New Release

Charlotte Neighborhood Quality of Life Study 2010

Since 1997, the City of Charlotte has monitored neighborhood quality of life through a biennial analysis of a set of locally derived variables, which are aggregated into social, physical, crime, and economic dimensions to create a “quality of life index” for each neighborhood.  The most recent study was released and presented to the Charlotte City Council on Monday, September 13, 2010. The Quality of Life Study was developed and implemented by the Metropolitan Studies Group at UNC Charlotte.  

 The 2010 study findings reflect the effects of the national economic recession and the local financial sector restructuring. Mirroring empirical findings from cities and metro regions across the country, Charlotte’s neighborhoods have been adversely impacted by the economic downturn and the spillover effects on local quality of life.  The good news is that Charlotte’s neighborhood-scale quality of life has suffered comparatively less disruption than has been experienced in peer cities.  The study can be viewed at http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/nbs/communitycommerce/QOL/Documents/2010_Quality_Of_Life_Report.pdf

In 2010, the study framework was expanded beyond residential communities to include the City’s key business corridors.  Specifically, a framework to analyze the “healthiness” and functionality of retail, service and commercial areas in 11 business corridors was constructed using locally sourced variables.   The 2012 Quality of Life Report will examine the changes in these business corridors since 2010 as well as the residential neighborhoods that have  been covered since the initiation of the study.

Please check the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute website for commentary and analysis of the findings from the 2010 study to be posted in the coming weeks, including a study overview from Dr. Owen Furuseth, Associate Provost for Metropolitan Studies and Extended Academic Programs, and primary author of the report.

-- Linda Shipley

-- Photo by Jeff Michael