Ely Portillo

Ely Portillo
UNC Charlotte Urban Institute
Assistant Director of Outreach & Strategic Partnerships
Sycamore 310-G
704-687-1203

Stories by Ely Portillo

Charlotte’s torn down a lot of old buildings. But one type has staying power.

Breweries, apartments, hip food halls, creative offices, coworking spaces: Charlotte developers keep finding new uses for the city’s old mills. As a post-war, Sunbelt boomtown, Charlotte has...

How likely are Charlotte-area kids born into poverty to move up the income ladder?

Fifty out of 50: That’s where the Charlotte area ranked in Harvard economist Raj Chetty’s influential 2014 study of economic mobility.



Why isn’t Charlotte built on the water?

After visiting a city with a waterfront, maybe stopping for a drink and a bite to eat along whichever river or ocean it’s built along, I’m usually left with one overriding thought: “Wow,...

Turning to a board game for insights on planning Charlotte’s growth

It isn’t quite “Risk” or “Monopoly” or even “Settlers of Catan.” But city officials are using feedback from a new board game called “Growing Better Places: A More Equitable and Inclusive...

Charlotte loves visions. Here are some of the biggest on the drawing board.

If planners, developers and other leaders in Charlotte have a favorite word, it might just be “vision.” In a city defined by its growth, local leaders aren’t shy about throwing the word around...