Today it’s hard for many, especially newcomers, to imagine Charlotte’s interdependency with the small towns and rural communities surrounding Mecklenburg County. But Charlotte’s emergence as a New South city was the result of a manufacturing economy established throughout the region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That economy was mostly built on textiles, with its concentration not in the urban core (as was the case with Pittsburgh’s steel industry or Detroit’s auto sector), but in small towns scattered throughout the Carolina Piedmont – where brick textile mills were built along the banks of the South Fork River in Gaston County and the Great Falls of the Catawba in South Carolina, and along the rail lines that stretched in every direction to places like Kannapolis and Hamlet.
There was a stir in town a few weeks ago, when the new Charlotte Regional Business Alliance CEO, Janet LaBar, commented to the Charlotte Observer, “I think Charlotte doesn’t have a brand. That’s not necessarily, today, good or bad. That just means that’s an opportunity for us to actually create one.”
The year was 1955, but the city’s problems would look pretty familiar to its modern residents. Charlotte was confronted with growing traffic, inadequate transportation options, a lack of park space and the fear that growth was running away without a real, comprehensive plan.
The Charlotte region is taking concrete steps towards building a regional transit system, and, in a local first, the proposed Silver Line could run through three counties. But plenty of big questions remain. Chief among them: Who will pay?
Charlotte is like a teenager in a growth spurt, with development transforming chunks of the city and new buildings popping up on what feels like every corner in some neighborhoods. Can an ambitious new comprehensive plan guide its growth over the next two decades?
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Welcome to the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute's data portal. See below to explore facts about the Charlotte region from among 11 topic areas, compare your county to the metro region and the state, and explore in-depth data from...
March is Women’s History Month. Its origins date back more than 30 years, when President Carter proclaimed the second week of March as National Women’s History Week in 1980. Seven years later, as the result of a persistent national lobbying effort, Congress passed a public law designating the month of March as Women’s History Month. Since 1987, each president has issued annual proclamations calling upon citizens to observe and celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of American women.
Domestic violence research has shown that perpetrators frequently use verbal abuse to coerce their victims into appearing at bond hearings in order to support the release of their abuser. This was one of the many facts about domestic violence discussed at the 2012 Judicial Candidates Forum held on October 2, 2012 at UNC Charlotte’s Center City Building.