Articles

  • Cars and a trolley line the street as three people cross the street in Downtown Charlotte in 1926.

    Three new approaches to historic preservation in Charlotte

    A shiny new skyline, a “New South” city, 150,000 new residents since in the last decade — however people describe Charlotte, the word “new” always seems to be one of the first on their tongues. That’s to be expected in a fast-growing city like Charlotte. But it’s also part of the reason Charlotte has a reputation for being a city with little regard for its history, always distracted by the quest for the next big thing (NBA! NFL! Light rail! New banks! NASCAR Hall of Fame! Whitewater Center!), and all too ready to make room for the new by tearing down the old.
  • A light rail train passes an apartment complex in Charlotte, NC.

    Here’s what other Sunbelt cities can show Charlotte about transit funding

    With plans for the 26-mile Silver Line light rail, possible Blue Line extensions, the Gold Line streetcar and more moving forward, there’s a looming question in Charlotte: How will we pay for all of this?
  • A man watches a sprinkler as it waters fresh produce on a farm.

    Coronavirus uncertainty impacts local farm economies

    No doubt, 2020 will be known as a year of change; good, bad, and lasting. The global coronavirus pandemic has forced shifts and pivots in almost all industries and facets of life. The food system is no exception. As the resiliency of the local food system is challenged, some farmers and food producers will find it tough to stay afloat in 2020. For others, 2020 is a year of growth, adaptation, and a record-breaking good year, much like 2008 when the Great Recession triggered a return to “local” that drove up demand.
  • The city of Charlotte's skyline during the day.

    In spite of a pandemic, city planning isn’t slowing down

    With the coronavirus crisis in its fifth month, Charlotte planning director Taiwo Jaiyeoba has noticed something odd: Despite massive disruptions, his staff is actually completing some work more quickly. Plan reviews are faster. Advisory committees now meeting virtually are seeing 100% attendance. And developers have asked if they can continue to have the option of virtual meetings to go over their proposals with staff once the crisis ends.
  • A spiderweb covered in dew drops.

    Child and youth integrated homelessness data report: Part 3

    Last week’s blog post provided an in-depth look at the key findings from The Child & Youth Homelessness Integrated Data Report, which was released on July 9. The new report integrates data from multiple sources to describe child and youth homelessness and service utilization patterns in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The first blog post in the series covering different aspects of the integrated data report provided context about the the report, including how integrated data can help communities to understand and address complex issues like housing and homelessness.
  • A cicada killer wasp resting on green leaves.

    They have a scary name, but ‘cicada killers’ are harmless helpers

    With fewer cars on the road and airplanes in the sky, I’ve enjoyed the sounds of summer even more, namely the chorus of cicadas in my leafy neighborhood. The male’s love song is loud and urgent – more Def Leppard than James Taylor – but to my ears, it is the soundtrack of lazy summer days. They lift up their song, but it quickly trails off, as if it is simply too much effort in the face of unrelenting heat and humidity. But the cicadas themselves lead lives that are far from relaxed and carefree. They’re frantic to attract a mate and reproduce in a matter of weeks. And their brief life span is threatened by a wide range of predators, such as mammals, birds and reptiles. Even humans sometimes snack on them. But there’s one insect so accomplished at its gruesome task, it has earned the name “cicada killer.”
  • 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.