• People standing at a light rail station in Charlotte, NC.

    The coronavirus is starting to reshape transit in Charlotte

    The viral outbreak and ensuing lockdowns caused transit ridership numbers to plummet nationwide as millions of people stayed home or avoided trains and buses if they had to go somewhere. The Centers for Disease Control even recommended people drive solo as they return to work, shunning densely packed transit lines in favor of their own automobile bubble. Charlotte was no different: The Charlotte Area Transit System’s (CATS) ridership fell almost 65% in May (compared to the year before) at the height of the lockdown.
  • A demolished building.

    Mapping Charlotte’s lost buildings: Demolitions on the rise again

    Charlotte’s aging buildings are being torn down at an alarming rate, the product of a fast-growing population and strong real estate market.
  • Downtown Badin NC

    NC’s current 2020 Census response is concerning

    More than four in every ten North Carolina households have not yet filled out the 2020 Census, representing more than 4 million North Carolinians not currently captured in the Census. Our current response rate is below the national rate and below where our state was in 2010. North Carolina communities that have not responded at high rates are predominantly rural, Black, and Brown, with low internet access. It is vital to our state that all North Carolinians be counted: the 2020 Census ensures our state receives its fair share of more than $1.5 trillion in federal dollars from census-derived programs ($44 billion to NC in FY2017) and that these and state funds are distributed fairly across the state.
  • A house under construction in southwest Charlotte.

    Opinion: Why saving NOAH won’t solve our housing crisis

    It’s no secret that Charlotte, like the rest of the US, has a housing affordability crisis. This is the result of two main factors: We don’t have enough housing units and the housing that we have is too expensive for many of our families.
  • Cars and a trolley line the street as three people cross the street in Downtown Charlotte in 1926.

    Three new approaches to historic preservation in Charlotte

    A shiny new skyline, a “New South” city, 150,000 new residents since in the last decade — however people describe Charlotte, the word “new” always seems to be one of the first on their tongues. That’s to be expected in a fast-growing city like Charlotte. But it’s also part of the reason Charlotte has a reputation for being a city with little regard for its history, always distracted by the quest for the next big thing (NBA! NFL! Light rail! New banks! NASCAR Hall of Fame! Whitewater Center!), and all too ready to make room for the new by tearing down the old.
  • A light rail train passes an apartment complex in Charlotte, NC.

    Here’s what other Sunbelt cities can show Charlotte about transit funding

    With plans for the 26-mile Silver Line light rail, possible Blue Line extensions, the Gold Line streetcar and more moving forward, there’s a looming question in Charlotte: How will we pay for all of this?
  • A man watches a sprinkler as it waters fresh produce on a farm.

    Coronavirus uncertainty impacts local farm economies

    No doubt, 2020 will be known as a year of change; good, bad, and lasting. The global coronavirus pandemic has forced shifts and pivots in almost all industries and facets of life. The food system is no exception. As the resiliency of the local food system is challenged, some farmers and food producers will find it tough to stay afloat in 2020. For others, 2020 is a year of growth, adaptation, and a record-breaking good year, much like 2008 when the Great Recession triggered a return to “local” that drove up demand.
  • The city of Charlotte's skyline during the day.

    In spite of a pandemic, city planning isn’t slowing down

    With the coronavirus crisis in its fifth month, Charlotte planning director Taiwo Jaiyeoba has noticed something odd: Despite massive disruptions, his staff is actually completing some work more quickly. Plan reviews are faster. Advisory committees now meeting virtually are seeing 100% attendance. And developers have asked if they can continue to have the option of virtual meetings to go over their proposals with staff once the crisis ends.
  • A spiderweb covered in dew drops.

    Child and youth integrated homelessness data report: Part 3

    Last week’s blog post provided an in-depth look at the key findings from The Child & Youth Homelessness Integrated Data Report, which was released on July 9. The new report integrates data from multiple sources to describe child and youth homelessness and service utilization patterns in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The first blog post in the series covering different aspects of the integrated data report provided context about the the report, including how integrated data can help communities to understand and address complex issues like housing and homelessness.
  • A cicada killer wasp resting on green leaves.

    They have a scary name, but ‘cicada killers’ are harmless helpers

    With fewer cars on the road and airplanes in the sky, I’ve enjoyed the sounds of summer even more, namely the chorus of cicadas in my leafy neighborhood. The male’s love song is loud and urgent – more Def Leppard than James Taylor – but to my ears, it is the soundtrack of lazy summer days. They lift up their song, but it quickly trails off, as if it is simply too much effort in the face of unrelenting heat and humidity. But the cicadas themselves lead lives that are far from relaxed and carefree. They’re frantic to attract a mate and reproduce in a matter of weeks. And their brief life span is threatened by a wide range of predators, such as mammals, birds and reptiles. Even humans sometimes snack on them. But there’s one insect so accomplished at its gruesome task, it has earned the name “cicada killer.”