Articles

  • A conceptual rendering of Tryon Street in the North Tryon Vision Plan. Charlotte Center City Partners.

    What does coronavirus mean for the future of urbanism in Charlotte?

    Monday night’s rezoning meeting felt like most Charlotte City Council sessions from previous years, despite the mayor and staff sitting six feet apart and developers battling audio and video glitches in the remote setup.  But even though developers are moving forward with most of their previously announced plans and cranes are still filling in the blank spaces on our city’s skyline with new towers, questions are swirling about what the era of COVID-19 means for the much-touted urban revival. 
  • Map of segregation patterns in Charlotte

    What made our city so divided? This book traces the roots

    Whether you have more time on your hands without a daily commute or you’re looking for something to read that’s not about the novel coronavirus, the new release of a classic book about Charlotte will shed light on the city’s inequalities. 
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg public elementary school students work in their school's computer lab. Photo: Nancy Pierce

    COVID-19 closes schools and brings on its own ‘summer slide’

    Students lose 20% to 30% of their school year learning gains over the summer and research has found that students of color, students with disabilities and those from low income families experience greater summer learning loss than their peers — and now, the coronavirus pandemic threatens to compound these losses.
  • Residents' belongings at the Salvation Army Center of Hope for women and children.Caption info from photographer: Salvation Army Center of Hope shelter for women and children. This is a family dorm room.

    One month into the coronavirus crisis, food and housing insecurity rise

    Since the coronavirus lockdowns began, Mecklenburg’s resource helpline has seen housing assistance requests jump 219% and food assistance jump 747%. These numbers are an indication of the dramatic impacts we’re seeing unfold on Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s economy. 
  • Uptown Charlotte skyline

    10 key questions for public administrators in the time of COVID-19

    There will certainly be scores of studies and articles for years to come about lessons for public administrators from how our multiple levels and units of government managed the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. An important place to start is asking the right set of questions.
  • Five Points Plaza rendering Charlotte NC

    Growth and change surge in Charlotte’s Historic West End

    Sitting in a gas station turned into a café and coffee shop along Rozzelles Ferry Road in Charlotte’s Historic West End, J’Tanya Adams, a longtime community activist, spotted a commercial real estate broker who has been working with developers interested in building new homes in the area. The conversation was brief, but packed with news. Adams is founder and program director of  Historic West End Partners, a non-profit which largely promotes economic growth and revitalization. She swapped information with Forde Britt about a potential dog grooming shop and other businesses for several nearby empty buildings along the  street. Such interactions are happening more often in the Historic West End as the historically African American community on the outskirts of uptown Charlotte braces for an anticipated spike in growth and development.
  • Volunteers packing food at the Sandhills AGInnovation Center

    We want to hear your COVID-19 stories

    The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the city of Charlotte are collecting stories to learn what you and your neighbors are seeing and to celebrate the efforts underway by people pulling together that are getting us through this unprecedented time. 
  • Uptown Charlotte from Independence Blvd

    Does regionalism still make sense in the era of the ‘Nation City’?

    This is the age of the “metropolitan revolution” in the U.S.: the city as the crucible of change in the wake of waning effectiveness at the national level. Or so say some, like former Chicao mayor Rahm Emanual, whose book “The Nation City” came out in February.  That the triumph of the city could now seem almost blasé to urbanists makes it all the more provocative to regionalists and rural advocates. We asked former UNC Charlotte Urban Institute Senior Fellow Brian Dabson, a nationally recognized expert on regional development and resilience, to give us his take on the new book. Below he shares why he thinks cities (still) need their regions, whether the urban-rural divide narrative will wither away in 2020, and how this new era of pandemic risk might foster more regionally-minded thinking in the future.
  • Man walking dog solo on greenway in Charlotte

    Inequalities in Charlotte: Coronavirus shines a spotlight

    As unemployment rises and schools remain closed, the coronavirus crisis is highlighting some of the many inequalities in the Charlotte region.  Those problems go beyond the ones we’re familiar with, such as income inequality and patterns of segregation. They point to deeply embedded inequalities in how we’ve built our city and our region, as well as access to key infrastructure. 
  • Residents applying for affordable housing on shared computers

    Coronavirus highlights our digital divide

    As much of our work, learning and lives move online following the stay-in-place policies to control the coronavirus pandemic, the inequity of the digital divide for low-income and rural households here and around the country is now more visible.  Like most states in the country, North Carolina has poor broadband (or high-speed internet) outside of most cities and towns. Almost all 100 counties in the state include rural areas with little or no broadband