Gaston County Articles & Publications

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What does COVID-19 mean for place-based development?
   May 20, 2020

Places like Shelby’s Don Gibson Theater, the El Dorado Outpost outdoor retailer in the Uwharries and The Twilight Bark pet supply company in Troy were built on grit, luck and the surety that there would be demand for something other than the offerings at chain stores and strip malls. But for those counting on place-based, experiential strategies to drive their revivals, the key question is:... Read more


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Coronavirus resources: Data, maps and more
   May 19, 2020
Ely Portillo
The coronavirus pandemic has generated a flood of data, maps and other resources to track the spread — and places to get help — throughout the region. Many of these resources are scattered across different websites and dashboards. Here’s a brief summary of what’s available, collected in one place. We will update this list as the pandemic goes on. Read more


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The effects of COVID-19 on architecture: Predictions from tomorrow's designers
   May 18, 2020

Meg Whalen
When the coronavirus pandemic hit in the middle of the spring semester, it added a whole new layer of significance to the assignments in Assistant Professor of Architectural History Lidia Klein’s spring seminar. The curriculum for the graduate course, Architecture and Production: from Assembly Line to 3-D Printing, challenged students to investigate “changes in methods of architectural... Read more


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Pandemic highlights food chain workers' precarious and essential positions
   May 13, 2020

Colleen Hammelman
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, news headlines have called attention to both “essential workers” in the food system, such as farmworkers and grocery store employees, and extensive job losses for food system workers, primarily in retail and restaurants. There are requests for contributions to virtual tip jars and for customers to buy gift cards from small businesses alongside fears of food... Read more


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COVID-19 highlights educational inequities
   May 11, 2020

Chance W. Lewis, Ph.D.
The novel coronavirus, better known as COVID-19, has changed the world as we know it. This holds true for the field of education, particularly K-12 schools in North Carolina and across the U.S. COVID-19 has exposed some glaring educational inequities that were present before the pandemic, but in many ways have been amplified during this crisis. As a result, I provide four major educational... Read more


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A rare encounter with a beautiful bird this spring
   May 5, 2020
Crystal Cockman

If you’ve spent any time in the woods recently, you’ve probably heard some of the neotropical migratory birds who come here in the summertime to breed. 

I’ve been hearing black-and-white warblers, and last week heard my first wood thrush of the year. I’ve also heard hooded warblers, northern parulas, scarlet and summer tanagers and red-eyed vireos, among others.

On one recent...

Read more


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Crises and family violence: Sometimes home isn’t safe
   April 21, 2020

Sydney Idzikowski, Dr. Michelle Meggs, Dr. May Ying Ly & Dr. Shanti Kulkarni
Encouraging people to stay home, avoid non-essential outings is the main strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19. However, for those facing family violence, home can be anything but safe.  Advocates across the country are concerned about an increase in domestic violence and child abuse incidents, with schools closed and  families stuck at home. Read more


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What does coronavirus mean for the future of urbanism in Charlotte?
   April 21, 2020
Ely Portillo
Monday night’s rezoning meeting felt like most Charlotte City Council sessions from previous years, despite the mayor and staff sitting six feet apart and developers battling audio and video glitches in the remote setup.  But even though developers are moving forward with most of their previously announced plans and cranes are still filling in the blank spaces on our city’s skyline with new... Read more


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10 key questions for public administrators in the time of COVID-19
   April 15, 2020

Tom Barth & Kevin Staley
There will certainly be scores of studies and articles for years to come about lessons for public administrators from how our multiple levels and units of government managed the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. An important place to start is asking the right set of questions. Read more


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Does regionalism still make sense in the era of the ‘Nation City’?
   April 14, 2020

This is the age of the “metropolitan revolution” in the U.S.: the city as the crucible of change in the wake of waning effectiveness at the national level. Or so say some, like former Chicao mayor Rahm Emanual, whose book “The Nation City” came out in February.  That the triumph of the city could now seem almost blasé to urbanists makes it all the more provocative to regionalists and rural... Read more