Articles

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Here's what the next 20 years could hold for uptown Charlotte
   June 23, 2020
Ely Portillo
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... Read more


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How to help fireflies — and save a bit of summer magic
   June 22, 2020
Ruth Ann Grissom
A bobwhite quail calling from the edge of a stubbled hayfield. Honeybees buzzing in every patch of clover.  Fireflies hovering just beyond reach as dusk gives way to night. These are the images that come to mind when I think back to summers outdoors in the Uwharries when I was young. Little did I know that over the course of my lifetime, each of those species would experience precipitous... Read more


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The Racial Wealth Gap in Charlotte-Mecklenburg
   June 18, 2020

This series was based on a report by the Urban Institute, compiled with support from Bank of America, ​which partners with the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Institute for Social Capital on research that provides insight into community initiatives. Join us each Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on Twitter for a...

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Is Charlotte car culture finally changing?
   June 17, 2020
Ely Portillo
As a post-World War II, Sunbelt city that grew up in the age of the automobile, a car has long been pretty much a prerequisite for a comfortable and convenient life in Charlotte. Despite the completion of the Blue Line light rail, added miles of greenways and bike lanes, and new options like fleets of shared electric scooters, Charlotte is still a city where more than eight out of 10 people... Read more


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The pandemic is an opportunity for investing in our community
   June 16, 2020

Stephen Grotz
As the world sinks towards an unprecedented depression, now is the time to invest.   The demand for the most valuable commodity in the world — human ingenuity — has not been this low since the Great Depression in 1933. The nation’s unemployment rate spiked to 16.1% in April 2020 (before dipping to 13.3% in May), and world populations are confined to their homes, threatening the global economy.... Read more


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Savings, investment and racial wealth gap over generations
Wealth serves as a buffer through economic downturns, job loss, and other unexpected emergencies such the COVID-19 pandemic. In Charlotte, households of color are more than twice as likely to lack sufficient savings or assets that can be used to pay for basic needs for three months without income when compared to White households. Read more


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Post-coronavirus, everything will change in cities — or not
   June 4, 2020
Mary Newsom
We who write about cities are quick to make predictions. Some will prove prescient. Some won’t. But nobody really knows. Cities aren’t all alike. New York’s texture, way of life and pandemic experience are not Charlotte’s, or Houston’s, or Seattle’s. And this: We humans have a long history of behaving both predictably and unpredictably. Read more


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Residents wait to see if they can stay in fast-changing South End
   June 4, 2020
Mae Israel
Debbie Williams grew up in Charlotte’s Brookhill Village, a neighborhood of one-story duplex and triplex apartments built for black families in the 1950s. She has watched while its owners let the buildings deteriorate as luxury apartments began rising nearby.  Two decades ago, she moved away. But her mother and sister remained in the low-rent housing community, home to several generations of... Read more


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Three lessons our city should learn from COVID-19
   June 2, 2020
Ely Portillo
The novel coronavirus is extracting a terrible toll from our society, replete with mind-boggling statistics: A death toll of more than 100,000, 40 million people unemployed, a 95% plunge in airline passengers and so many more. The losses are immense. Grief is immeasurable. It’s still unclear how far-reaching and deep the economic pain we’re facing will run.  Amidst that, however, the... Read more


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The racial wealth gap: Business ownership & entrepreneurship
   June 1, 2020

In Mecklenburg County, business ownership rates are proportionate to the racial and ethnic makeup of the county. But disparities persist: Although ownership is demographically proportionate, the majority of the economic value of business ownership is held in a small number of White-owned businesses.  Read more