Social well-being

From health to housing to education, the institute offers articles and research on a variety of issues affecting social well-being in the 14-county Charlotte region.
 

Articles about social well-being topics

  • Mike Vaughn owns Great Falls Adventures. Here, he guides a tour of Stumpy Pond. Great Falls, S.C. and Badin, N.C., are both hoping to draw visitors, investment and economic revival with ecotourism and paddling on the rivers that flow past what were once thriving textile and steel towns. Photo: Nancy Pierce

    'A wilderness experience': Do rivers hold the key to rebirth for these towns?

    Where the hard rock of the Piedmont gives way to the sandy Coastal Plain, two company towns that lost their companies are looking for economic revival to the rivers that put them on the map. Great Falls in South Carolina and Badin in North Carolina grew up along the geologic fall line beside wild, majestic stretches of whitewater that entrepreneurs harnessed for electricity and for industry, a quintessential American story retold up and down the East Coast in the early 1900s. Now, years after the textile mills in Great Falls quit spinning on the Catawba River and the aluminum smelter in Badin shut its furnaces on the Yadkin, both towns hope to reinvent themselves with a new kind of industry: ecotourism.
  • A mowed yard, traditional fence posts, managed grasslands and a small, forested mountain. For many, the landscape is a vital part of what makes the Uwharries home. Photo: Ruth Ann Grissom.

    Rural by Choice: Navigating identity in the Uwharries

    The narrative around rural areas has often held that people need to leave for a better chance to find success, typically in the city. But for many, leaving the place they love and call home never really feels like an option. Here are seven stories of people who are turning that narrative on its head. 
  • A 2.2-mile section of Carolina Thread Trail weaves through a 358-acre permanently conserved area that’s protected by Catawba Lands Conservancy (CLC) within the Girl Scouts’ Dale Earnhardt Environmental Leadership Campus at Oak Springs in Iredell County. The trail is called Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council Trail. Photo: Nancy Pierce

    Forging connections across the Carolinas – one greenway, trail and waterway at a time

    Natural aesthetic appeal, increased economic vitality, a reason to leave your car behind, a walking and biking connection between communities in two states: Organizers hope to deliver all of that, and more, through the growing Carolina Thread Trail network of greenways, waterways and trails.
  • Bluegrass & Old-Time Jam Session on the square in Shelby, at the Earl Scruggs Center. Photo: Nancy Pierce

    Finding the Music, Part 1: A town reaches into its past to fuel a revival

    With the textile industry in steep decline and Forbes magazine ranking Shelby among America’s most vulnerable cities, a task force set out to see what other towns and cities in similar distress had done to pump energy into their downtowns and draw out-of-towners.  They landed on an idea to fully embrace Cleveland County’s musical legacy and celebrate the global fame of two native sons.