• Restored grasslands in the Uwharries provide food and habitat for insects and the birds that feed on them. Photo: Ruth Ann Grissom

    Turning backyards into bird sanctuaries across the Piedmont

    Wildlife habitat comes in all shapes and sizes, as does opportunity for improving it.  The rural nature of the Uwharries and other areas around Charlotte allows us to restore grasslands and forests on a landscape scale, but the same management techniques have also proven successful on smaller parcels in urban parks and nature preserves. One of the most promising interventions in the rapidly developing Piedmont is to enhance backyard habitat. 
  • Exploring Charlotte with the 2019 City Walks

    Charlotte City Walks 2019 wrapped up after a record-setting year, with 40 walks and more than 600 attendees. The programs explored food, history, art, murals, the lived experiences of being blind or homeless in Charlotte, tree canopy and more.
  • Charlotte City Walks participants learn about murals during one of the 2019 walks. Photo: Angelique Gaines

    Charlotte City Walks wraps up a record-setting year

    The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute organized a record number of free walking and biking tours last month that highlighted the diversity of Charlotte neighborhoods. The 40 tours took place in neighborhoods such as University City, NoDa, Uptown, South End, Historic Wilmore, Cherry, Belmont, Plaza Midwood, McCrorey Heights, Biddlesville, Commonwealth-Morningside and Historic Camp Greene.
  • Photo by Nancy Pierce

    Regional transit gets another ‘symbolic’ boost near Charlotte

    Three counties outside Mecklenburg have now expressed formal - though nonbinding - support for bringing a regional rail system of some kind across the border. That would be a first for Charlotte, where rail-based mass transit has so far been confined to within the city limits.
  • Stokes Farm in Davidson County
  • The Institute for Social Capital, part of the Urban Institute, allows researchers to use unique and comprehensive data sources to find linkages that can inform policy-making. Photo: Nancy Pierce

    Linking data to inform policy at the Institute for Social Capital

    The Institute for Social Capital combines data from dozens of different agencies and provides a unique way for researchers to find connections and study problems, helping policymakers find solutions that work. 
  • An encampment of homeless people, photo taken Jan. 31, 2018, for annual PIT Count, Point-In-Time Count. Photo: Peter Safir

    Five maps that show inequality in Charlotte in surprising ways

    It turns out you can see disparities on the map in Charlotte across way more dimensions than traditional measures like household income. 
  • A pedestrian at John Kirk Drive and University City Drive, or NC 49, near UNC Charlotte.

    Is this road design a better way to move, or an outdated solution for traffic?

    As Charlotte grows denser and more urban, parts of the city built decades ago on an auto-centric, suburban framework are struggling to both absorb more traffic and adapt to new beliefs about how people should get around. A one-mile stretch of congested road in fast-growing University City illustrates the tensions between balancing the needs of cars and pedestrians, as well as local residents and commuters, in an area where the distinction between urban and suburban is starting to blur.
  • Celebrating the diversity of birds in the Uwharries

    From field sparrows to gnatcatchers to scarlet tanagers, from local residents to neotropical migrants from thousands of miles away, there’s a wealth of biodiversity of birds in the Uwharries near Charlotte. 
  • As development booms, Charlotte still wrestles with density

    With Charlotte’s population growing by more than 60 people a day, planners, politicians and many residents agree that denser development is inevitable in the city’s future. But just how dense - and where to build that extra density - remain thorny questions, especially when denser developments are proposed in single-family neighborhoods.