Charlotte is in the midst of a major affordable housing crunch, and though the city has substantially increased its subsidies for building leaders acknowledge there’s no way to fund the tens of thousands of units we’d need to meet demand.
Post-war zoning effectively made America’s historic neighborhoods illegal. No longer could you live above the store. No longer could you build a duplex, triplex, or quadraplex amidst single-family houses. Now, most new housing was a homogenous spread of nothing but single-family bungalows. Apartments were all lumped together and quarantined off in a different part of the city. But stroll...
A steady rain of giggles falls on a busy street in Uptown Charlotte. It’s May 2019, and a neat row of see-saws undulate back and forth, bright LED strips highlighting their movement, as elated, carefree riders push off. The smell of food trucks serving eager patrons wafts through the air.
Parents watch, relaxed, knowing they don’t have to pull their child out of oncoming traffic, as kids run...
Nothing speaks of the winter sky quite like a flock of blackbirds flying in unison above a sprawling pasture, field or marsh.
They spiral and bank and funnel, breathing life into a void of leaden gray. It’s a spectacle you won’t observe in any other season.
In the Piedmont, these flocks are often composed of an assortment of common species, not all of which are native or even...
Ads have been running for months, streets are blanketed with yard signs and North Carolinians have cast early ballots, but with Super Tuesday this week, the presidential election officially kicks into high gear locally.
But how many of us will actually turn out to vote? It turns out that the answer depends a lot on where you live. Like patterns of race, income, education and even...
Leaders from across the region gathered Monday in a conference room at Charlotte Douglas International Airport with an ambitious goal: Creating a comprehensive plan for public transit, covering a dozen counties and setting the transit agenda for decades.
Called CONNECT Beyond, the 18-month planning effort by the Centralina Council of Governments is, to put it simply, big. The...
There’s a growing consensus that if we want to get out of the housing affordability mess we’re in, we need to hear a lot more swinging hammers.
Policymakers, developers and housing advocates are all talking about the need to build more, and more of everything: single-family houses, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses and apartments. It’s fast become the conventional wisdom that we need...
A vacant park in a bustling downtown. A waterside bandshell and lawn that sit empty most days of the year. A busy intersection thousands of people drive through every day without a pause.
In a fast-growing city that lacks parks and other public gathering spaces, planners are looking at ways to make these places into more of, well, places. Not just somewhere to pass through, but somewhere to meet...
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Angelique Gaines is a Social Research Specialist at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, who runs the City Walks program and studies topics from youth development to the racial wealth gap.
"What I find rewarding is the ability to serve the community. Bringing about a more equitable and socially just society is what motivates me to do the work that I do," says Gaines.
The Urban Institute is a part of the Office of Urban Research and Community Engagement (formerly known as Metropolitan Studies), which is a unit of Academic Affairs. Our mission is to provide community-based research services to local, regional, and state-level clients. Off-campus partners include local governments, non-profit organizations, and community groups.