• Students in a classroom. Stock photo via Unsplash.

    The power of active citizenship and civic engagement in seeking justice for youth

    The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing protests for racial justice have shone a spotlight on the social inequalities present in our country. A swirl of head-spinning news has essentially left citizens across the nation and within our own communities feeling slightly helpless or lost, and asking the question “What can we do now?” Fortunately, there are plenty of answers, prominent among them civic engagement and active citizenship.
  • A child's hands holding onto rings in a jungle gym structure

    Child and youth integrated homelessness data report: Part 2

    Last week’s blog post featured the release of The Child & Youth Homelessness Integrated Data Report, which integrates data from multiple sources to describe child and youth homelessness and service utilization patterns in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The blog post provided context about the the report, including how integrated data can help communities to understand and address complex issues like housing and homelessness.
  • Trees demolished for construction

    Charlotte’s losing its green canopy, despite efforts to save trees

    Charlotte is losing over three football fields a day worth of trees. That’s the sobering conclusion of a study by the University of Vermont in collaboration with TreesCharlotte, detailing how development, age, storms and other factors have cut down Charlotte’s tree coverage. The percentage of Charlotte covered by tree canopy fell from 49% to 45% of the city between 2012 and 2018.
  • A close up of three linked metal chains.

    Child and youth integrated homelessness data report: Part 1

    There are thousands of children and youth in households every year in Charlotte-Mecklenburg that access housing or housing-related services as a result of their experience of homelessness and/or housing instability. However, these services and the data collected by them, are not linked. This means that describing child and youth homelessness using one data source provides only a sliver of the overall picture. Using multiple data sources can be helpful, but if these sources are not linked, they merely line up uneven comparisons.
  • Three vehicles parked outside of small stores on South Boulevard in Charlotte, NC.

    Charlotte region's Hispanic population grows at a rapid pace

    It’s been nearly a generation since the 2000 Brookings Institution Report that classified Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham as “Emerging Immigrant Gateways,” based largely on the rapid growth of Hispanic/Latino immigrant population. Hispanics now make up more than 10% of the population of the 14-county Charlotte region, according to recently released U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.
  • The sun rises behind the skyline of the city of Charlotte, NC.

    Sun Belt cities are driving much of our urban growth. Let’s study them.

    The U.S. population, like that in Charlotte, is growing, and much of the growth is in the cities of the Sun Belt. A new report from a Houston university research center says the country should be paying more attention to those Sun Belt cities – treating them as a specific genre that needs its own body of research.
  • Walking dogs in Charlotte

    How gig work is changing during the pandemic

    Kevin Ross runs a pet care service from his home in Indian Trail through By mid-March, as cases of COVID-19 were rapidly rising in the US, his typically steady stream of clients began to dwindle. When states began issuing stay-at-home orders, many of his clients started working from home or cutting out travel. That’s when he saw a wave of cancellations. 
  • Two people rowing in a canoe on a river in Badin, NC.

    A breath of fresh air for your mental health

    I don’t know about you, but I am tired of being stuck at home. While I understand the need during a global pandemic, months of “the new normal” has me missing the old one. Not being able to go to the gym, church, or the movies has got me—and a lot of other people—feeling anxious, and sometimes, pretty down. As it turns out, this is pretty normal, according to research. Folks at the Pew Research Center have completed a number of surveys over the past couple of months and found that half of all American adults are experiencing moderate to high distress during quarantine. There is a great deal of stress, anxiety and worry about health, finances, and the future, among other things. And the longer this continues, the more people report high levels of distress. Learning how to take care of our mental health during an extended quarantine could not be more important.
  • Crane on Charlotte skyline

    Three ideas that could shake up planning and development in Charlotte

    The coronavirus pandemic has slowed some of the region’s planning efforts and stopped public meetings, but the virus hasn’t stopped Charlotte’s rapid growth. And in a city that’s added more than 150,000 new residents in the past decade, the effects of that growth are visible everywhere from the rising skyline to ever-more-clogged highways. That’s one reason so many new plans — covering everything from transit to zoning to parks to greenways — are underway right now in the Charlotte region. Amidst all that change, here are three ideas that might shake up how Charlotte plans for its future and what that future looks like.
  • Watching fireworks at uptown Charlotte ballpark

    Here's what the next 20 years could hold for uptown Charlotte

    A new “Central Park” for Charlotte. A Tryon Street that prioritizes pedestrians over cars. A new neighborhood built around the Carolina Panthers’ stadium, and the burial — or even total elimination — of I-277. These are some of the big ideas planners are batting around as they work on the new Center City Vision Plan, meant to guide development in uptown and the surrounding neighborhoods for the next two decades.