SOCIAL WELL-BEING

Apr 23, 2019
Is Charlotte's arts scene growing? Becoming more diverse? Does the city need a dedicated arts district? Read what some of the city’s key advocates and artists have to say about Charlotte's art community. 
Apr 23, 2019
As Charlotte has become more urban and cosmopolitan, grassroots artists and organizations have energized the visual and performing arts. But some say there have largely been two separate arts scenes in Charlotte: One shaped by established arts institutions and the other by a more diverse group of artists and arts organizations emerging outside the establishment.
Apr 23, 2019
As rapid growth and development reshapes Charlotte's urban personality, the cultural arts scene is expanding and becoming more dynamic, as a number of new festivals and venues show. But arts advocates say funding has stagnated, and more is needed to maintain the growth.   
Apr 22, 2019
Charlotte City Walks has almost 40 free, community-led walking and bicycling tours planned for 2019, the most in the program's history.
Feb 21, 2019
Everyone wants to be included and accounted for. This is no different for our homeless population, a group that often feels overlooked and ignored. Charlotte-Mecklenburg is doing their best to remedy this with their annual Point-In-Time Count. 
Feb 06, 2019
On February 4, 2019, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and Lake Norman Economic Development Corporation released the 2018 North Mecklenburg Demographic and Housing Assessment. This report presents the findings from a demographics and housing assessment for the northern part of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (North Mecklenburg).
Jan 02, 2019
Journalist Mae Israel spoke with Gravel recently about his ideas for creating more livable cities. His comments have been edited for clarity and brevity.
Dec 31, 2018
As the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019, we are reflecting on how our history and growth mirror both the region we focus on and the university that nurtures us.
Oct 10, 2018
Authors James and Deborah Fallows, who’ll appear in Charlotte on Nov. 13, talk about their travels through America and what they discovered about civic revitalization.
Aug 15, 2018
Institute researchers look at the ecosystem of college- and career-readiness programs in Mecklenburg County.
Aug 14, 2018
Two researchers conclude in a new article that many starter-home subdivisions in Charlotte, often built in industrial areas, saw neighborhood decline.
Jun 07, 2018
When eviction lands in court, landlords usually have lawyers, and tenants rarely do. A local program to arm tenants with information aims to alter that imbalance.
May 23, 2018
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and Mecklenburg County Community Support Services released “Charlotte-Mecklenburg Evictions Part 3: One-month Snapshot of Eviction Court Records” on Wednesday, May 23, 2018.  
Mar 28, 2018
Did residential construction in Mecklenburg County rise last year? Where do fewer students attend their assigned public school? That information and more can be at your fingertips.
Oct 17, 2017
Do you have questions? The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Annual Survey from the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute can provide answers. Contact us if you’re interested in using our Annual Survey services for 2018.
Sep 28, 2017
Each year thousands of people in Charlotte lose their homes to eviction. It’s not just a symptom of larger issues – high child care and transportation costs, rising rents and low wages – but can start a cascade of financial woes.
Aug 28, 2017
Charlotte readers snapped up a chance to hear best-selling author Matthew Desmond in September. Here’s how to get on the wait list.
Jul 14, 2017
Many Charlotte-area book clubs have decided to study Evicted, before the Sept. 27 visit by Pulitzer-winning author Matthew Desmond. Learn how you can take part.
May 09, 2017
Each January volunteers fan out across Charlotte to try to count the number of people lacking a home. This year’s numbers point to reason for hope.
Aug 03, 2016
What’s going on in our nation? Why? And what can we do about any of it? Although most of our systems aspire to fairness, racial disproportionality occurs across all systems, including education, child welfare, health care, housing, employment, banking and finance, and the justice system.
Feb 02, 2016
For decades, the complex challenge of housing low-income Charlotteans has inspired studies, public debate, policy changes and other actions.This essay traces how the challenges—and responses to them—have changed, and what the future might bring. Commentary.
May 14, 2015
Large trends  – income inequality, increasing economic segregation – are making it hard for people in poverty to realize the American Dream by working hard and climbing the ladder. In a Q/A interview, civic engagement expert Robert Putnam discusses the effect on children. 
Feb 23, 2015
A year-long study of the needs of Mecklenburg County’s elderly population found the county’s approach to older adults should focus on stronger and longer-term planning, supported by stronger collaboration among service providers.
Dec 10, 2014
The first recipient of a faculty research grant from the Institute for Social Capital, Inc. (ISC) will be Dr. Mason Haber, assistant professor in the UNC Charlotte Department of Psychology.
Nov 11, 2014
Charlotte is now a partner in a national effort to develop and use neighborhood information systems in local policy making and community building. 
Oct 08, 2014
United Way of Central Carolinas' Collective Impact approach aims to increase the graduation rate among the more than 13,000 at-risk children who receive services from 16 United Way-funded agencies.
Sep 11, 2014
Since the 1970s, the plight of the American middle class has been worsening. UNC Charlotte sociologist Scott Fitzgerald's most recent book details many of the causes and consequences. He'll speak publicly on Sept. 18. An interview.
Jun 04, 2014
Wilmore resident Kris Steele knew his neighborhood was a food desert, an area with little access to fresh food. Now he's won a $2,500 Keep Charlotte Beautiful grant to create and "edible walkway," where residents can pick fruit while they stroll. (Photo: John Chesser)
May 28, 2014
On Charlotte's least pedestrian- and bike-friendly type of street - a parkway - a new asphalt trail is open, connecting UNC Charlotte to apartments along University City Boulevard. It's part of the city's ongoing bike-ped enhancements. (Photo: Chuck McShane)
May 20, 2014
Benjamin Ross, author of "Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism," will discuss his book at the UNC Charlotte Center City campus today at 6 p.m. Ross' talk will be followed by a panel discussion.
Apr 08, 2014
What are the characteristics of homeless people in Mecklenburg County? Has that changed over time? A new analysis by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, in collaboration with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing and the Homeless Services Network, examines the 2014 Point in Time Count in Mecklenburg County. (Photo: Mary Gaertner)
Apr 08, 2014
The Charlotte-Mecklenbug Point in Time Count report was released Tuesday, April 8. The report was prepared by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute on behalf of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing. Foundation For The Carolinas provided funding for the report.Download the full report here.
Apr 08, 2014
What are the characteristics of Mecklenburg County’s homeless population and how has it changed over time? To try to answer those questions, Mecklenburg County each year performs the Point in Time (PIT) Count, a federally mandated act to determine the prevalence and characteristics of homeless...
Feb 13, 2014
On Jan. 29, Charlotte and Mecklenburg County attempted to get a count of all the people in the community who were homeless that night. As a volunteer in this effort, I was forced to reflect on my own definition of home. (Photo:  Mary Gaertner)
Jul 18, 2013
The question is widely debated among experts and in the press. Do surveys showing more preference for walkable, in-town neighborhoods measure a fleeting fad, or portend the end of suburbia? A UNC Charlotte geographer looks deeper. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Feb 06, 2013
The Collective Impact Baseline study is part of United Way’s pilot initiative to increase the graduation rate over the next 10 years for the community’s most vulnerable youth. This data will be used to create a the baseline against which United Way and its agencies will be measured in the goal to increase the graduation rate for at-risk children being served with United Way support.
Jan 10, 2013
Since 1993 the City of Charlotte has tallied information about some (and in later years all) city neighborhoods, in its regular Quality of Life reports. But this year major changes are afoot for the project, which opened its online doors to the public on Monday.
Oct 25, 2012
Charlotte has lagged much of the country in this period of economic recovery, but the region has finally begun to see a few small signs of better days on the horizon. Over the past several months, there has been gradual improvement in the unemployment rate and home price index in the region. These bright spots are welcome news in a region that continues to suffer the effects of the Great Recession.
Jun 19, 2012
Two different organizations in the Charlotte region are using borrowed land and volunteer labor to get fresh, local food on the plates of people who need it most.
Jun 11, 2012
The nation as a whole is getting older, but variations in population growth and immigration can create big differences in the median age from place to place. The Charlotte region is no exception. While Mecklenburg's median age has risen only marginally, some neighboring counties are getting noticeably older.
Jun 04, 2012
Communities around the Charlotte region are building greenways for residents to use for walking, bicycling, hiking and even skating. The Carolina Thread Trail has played an important role in making these new pathways a growing transportation and recreation resource. The Foundation For The...
Jun 04, 2012
The rise in the number of Hispanic, Asian and multiracial residents has been the biggest change in population diversity in the Charlotte region for more than a decade. A series of new maps and charts from the institute's researchers highlights the differences among the urban, suburban and rural communities from 2000 to 2011. 
Mar 28, 2012
Two of UNC Charlotte’s most visible institutes are merging to create a combined center with unparalleled research capacity to address social issues in the Charlotte region. On March 8, the Institute for Social Capital (ISC) board of directors and UNC Charlotte agreed to merge the ISC staff and operations into the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, the university’s oldest applied research center.
Feb 23, 2012
Children without hope can be found in every community.  Father Greg Boyle has been working on this issue for decades through Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.   He spoke in Charlotte this week about Homeboy, which is recognized as the largest gang intervention program in the country.  Homeboy Industries' slogan is, “nothing stops a bullet like a job.”
Feb 01, 2012
You may already know that, as a group, women tend to earn less than men. Something that may surprise you is that in 2010, smaller percentages of women were overweight or obese compared to men in Mecklenburg County. The new online tool sponsored by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women's Summit allows users to compare men and women across a range of indicators.
Jan 19, 2012
When it comes to city-county consolidation, citizens should know that nothing is guaranteed. And some of the commonly held beliefs about consolidation may not, in fact, be accurate. One prime example: Despite fears in Mecklenburg's towns, in many recent city-county consolidations the smaller municipalities in a county weren’t part of the merged body.
Dec 19, 2011
This has been a year of change and growth for the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.  As I look back on the year’s highlights – and look forward to a new project we’ll debut early in 2012 – I’m reminded of the role the institute has played since 1969 in the greater Charlotte region.
Dec 13, 2011
How did the quality of life in Charlotte neighborhoods change from 2000 to 2010? Researchers believe the economic recession may have played a large part in some of these changes. Not surprisingly, impacts from the recession appear to be felt more strongly in neighborhoods that started with lower quality-of-life scores.
Dec 07, 2011
What are the greatest needs facing our community?  United Way of Central Carolinas posed this question to Mecklenburg County residents via the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s Annual Survey last spring. The survey found the greatest perceived community health need is preventive care, the greatest perceived need for children and youth is dropout prevention, and the greatest perceived need in housing and financial stability is job skills training.
Nov 18, 2011
If you grew up in the Charlotte region, it was common to hear this question, if your accent or mannerisms did not fit with the expected Southern norms: You're not from around here, are you? Growth in newcomers from around the country and abroad is changing attitudes and culture for an expanding part of the Charlotte region.  How much have things changed in your county?