Articles

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Grissoms awarded Partners in Flight stewardship award
   April 26, 2021

Staff Reports

For over a decade, readers of the Urban Institute’s weekly e-newsletter have enjoyed the nature essays of Charlotte conservationist Ruth Ann Grissom, often inspired by the habitat restoration work that she and her sister Amy Grissom have been leading in the Uwharries, about an hour east of Charlotte. Now, an international...

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A remarkable spring of hope
   April 23, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

What an amazing spring!  I’ve heard that sentiment from so many people. When a Facebook friend posted a video of the glorious purple and lilac azaleas across from the post office in Mt. Gilead, scores of people responded. I always enjoy the progression of wildflowers in forests of the Uwharries and in my own backyard, but this year has seemed extra special.

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Register now: Transportation and economic mobility panel May 25
   April 21, 2021

For many families, the cost of owning and maintaining a car is a serious burden. Others who lack transportation have to spend hours a day on the bus. For all of us, traffic and congestion lower our quality of life and steal our time. And in a growing region like Charlotte, where you can afford to go influences everything from your job opportunities to access to fresh food and your health....

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Single-family zoning is still the crux of Charlotte’s 2040 plan debate
   April 19, 2021
Ely Portillo

In the months since opposition to Charlotte’s new 2040 Comprehensive Vision Plan started building, staff and City Council have held forums, rehashed the plan in committee meetings, responded to hundreds of public comments and started tinkering with how to modify rules about what can be...

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Advisory board suggests sharp increase for Meck parks funding
   April 14, 2021
Ely Portillo

As Mecklenburg County hammers out its budget priorities for the coming year, advocates for the park and recreation system are hoping to see a big funding increase.

At a presentation Tuesday, the Park & Recreation Commission, a citizen advisory board, suggested dramatically increasing funding for the county’s parks. That’s after Park & Recreation Director Lee Jones earlier this...

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Officials: Charlotte can’t meet its bus system needs without more revenue
   April 8, 2021
Ely Portillo

In Charlotte’s new transit and mobility plans, multibillion-dollar light rail lines tend to get most of the attention. But the delay in a planned 1-cent sales tax referendum is having a big effect on another, less flashy part of the system that actually carries many more riders: Buses.

The Charlotte Area Transit System has been trying to reverse falling bus ridership and...

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Urban Institute director named Deputy Secretary for Natural Resources
   April 7, 2021
Ely Portillo

Jeff Michael, who has served as director of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute for nearly two decades, is leaving that position to become North Carolina’s next Deputy Secretary for Natural Resources. N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Reid Wilson announced the appointment Wednesday.

Michael has led the Urban Institute for 18 years, which has stood as a...

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Report: Charlotte’s streets are dangerous for pedestrians
   March 30, 2021
Ely Portillo

It’s increasingly dangerous for people to walk in the Charlotte area, according to a new, annual report – a trend that’s mirrored in almost every city nationwide.

Dangerous by Design,” published by Smart Growth America, uses federal data to rank metro areas by pedestrian fatalities. The Charlotte region ranked as the 34...

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The density & affordability question
   March 29, 2021
Jeff Michael

There’s been a noticeable shift in the debate about density in Charlotte’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan over recent weeks. What started as a classic confrontation of progressive planning concepts vs. NIMBY-inspired resistance, has now taken on a different tone, with...

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Growing congestion, empty tracks: Why there's still no Red Line to North Meck
   March 29, 2021
Mary Newsom

A set of almost deserted railroad tracks runs from uptown Charlotte through Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson. In fast-growing, highly congested north Mecklenburg, people see those tracks and ask: Why not use them for mass transit?

For more than 20 years, that’s what the county’s transit plan has proposed: Use the tracks for a commuter rail service called the Red Line. Yet no...

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