• Falls Reservoir, a small lake in between Badin Lake and Lake Tillery.

    Beyond Crowders and Morrow Mountain: 8 great spots to get your nature fix near Charlotte

    Most people who visit the Uwharrie region, east of Charlotte, for recreation probably know about spots like the Uwharrie Trail and Morrow Mountain State Park. Or maybe you’re used to driving west, to Crowders Mountain State Park. However, there are a lot of lesser-known gems in the region that many tourists miss out on, and some that even locals have never been to see.
  • An eviction notice posted on an apartment in 2017. Thousands of evictions are filed each year in Mecklenburg County.

    Project documenting evictions’ toll in Mecklenburg wins national award

    Tens of thousands of people a year are evicted in Mecklenburg County, but the full impact is often hard to see. Court data on evictions is often incomplete, accessible only in paper files, or difficult to compile and access. Demographic data on who is evicted, and for what reasons, is not comprehensively collected. A 2017 project by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and Mecklenburg County sought to change that. 
  • Charlotte Water project coordinator Will Rice lifts the hatch on a tank full of raw sewage water at the McAlpine Wastewater Treatment Plant.

    Charlotte Water wants to harvest fertilizer from your flushes

    The world uses millions of tons of phosphorus per year in fertilizer, and almost all of that is mined. But Charlotte Water plans to start extracting the mineral from a new source: What you put down the drain. 
  • Students in a classroom. Stock photo via Unsplash.

    Do youth end up in the justice system because they disengage from school?

    A UNC Charlotte professor used the integrated data system at the Institute for Social Capital, a part of the Urban Institute, to examine whether students of color are more likely to enter the juvenile justice system because they’re more disengaged from school. Her conclusion: “The way our kids are being processed in the system is affected by the color of their skin.”
  • Kannapolis is hoping that a new baseball stadium will help spark a downtown revival, more than 15 years after the closure of Cannon Mills' textile plant changed the city forever. Rendering courtesy city of Kannapolis.

    Hoping to rebuild their downtowns, more NC cities are turning to baseball

    Smaller cities and towns across North Carolina are hoping an old, familiar sound will spark new life in their downtowns: The crack of a bat. Four new downtown ballparks with capacity for about 5,000 fans are popping up in the state, and officials are counting on them to draw new residents, breweries, restaurants and vitality. 
  • 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