Jeff Michael

UNC Charlotte Urban Institute
Director

Biography

Jeff Michael is director of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.  A planner and attorney by training, his professional experience includes extensive work around land use, sustainable development and land conservation  issues. Prior to coming to the institute in 2003, Jeff served as director of the Wildacres Leadership Initiative and the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, one of North Carolina’s premier leadership programs.

A native of the Charlotte region (Stanly County), Jeff is often called upon by the news media and policy makers to share his professional and personal knowledge of the region, and to provide commentary on the economic, environmental and social issues confronting its communities. 

Jeff was named a William C. Friday Fellow in 1997 and an American Marshall Memorial Fellow in 2005 and has served on the boards of numerous statewide and regional organizations.

Education

JD, University of North Carolina School of Law
Master of Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.S. in Business Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Expertise

Land use law, land conservation, regional planning, sustainable economic development, leadership development, diversity/multicultural training
 

Articles

  • ui.uncc.edu
    Nov 20, 2019
    Rural communities around Charlotte are looking for new economic engines. Urban residents are looking for more outdoor recreation. That provides an opportunity for communities around Charlotte to use their public lands and waterways to fuel growth.  And two areas in the region that were ahead of the curve offer lessons for other communities trying to tap this potential source of growth (one in the Uwharries east of Charlotte, and the other in Burke County). Here, we take a look at the experience of Burke County, and how it might inform the efforts of other communities in the Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection region that are interested in tapping into the outdoor recreation industry.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Nov 20, 2019
    Rural communities around Charlotte are looking for new economic engines. Urban residents are looking for more outdoor recreation. That provides an opportunity for communities around Charlotte to use their public lands and waterways to fuel growth. And two areas in the region that were ahead of the curve offer lessons for other communities trying to tap this potential source of growth (one in the Uwharries east of Charlotte, and the other in Burke County). Here, we take a look at the experience of the Uwharries, and how it might inform the efforts of other communities in the Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection region that are interested in tapping into the outdoor recreation industry.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Nov 20, 2019
    Rural communities around Charlotte are looking for new economic engines. Urban residents are looking for more outdoor recreation. That provides an opportunity for communities around Charlotte to use their public lands and waterways to fuel growth. And two areas in the region that were ahead of the curve offer lessons for other communities trying to tap this potential source of growth. 
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Nov 18, 2019
    Our purpose in studying the 32-county region wasn’t to merely document a Carolinas version of the familiar urban-rural divide. Instead, we sought to go beyond the conventional narrative of an irreversible split, and seek examples of connections –  either residual or new – between urban and rural communities. Connections that might provide opportunities for renewal in places still struggling to adapt to the changing economic landscape of the 21st century.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Sep 12, 2019
    Are rural leaders different than their urban counterparts? And how can programs that develop leaders bridge the gap between them, if indeed there is one?
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Sep 11, 2019
    “The more successful towns have a champion. The really successful ones have multiple champions.” What happens, however, if a community doesn’t have champions to lead it forward? And do our rural communities have such champions - or are they losing their leaders?
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Aug 28, 2019
    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.
  • plancharlotte.org
    Aug 06, 2019
    Why do we care about old places, and why should we work to preserve them? A Huntersville native and prominent national preservationist takes a look at those questions through a lens that stretches from Eastland Mall to the historic wonders of Rome. 
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Aug 06, 2019
    Why do we care about old places, and why should we work to preserve them? A Huntersville native and prominent national preservationist takes a look at those questions through a lens that stretches from Eastland Mall to the historic wonders of Rome. 
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Apr 02, 2019
    The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute is excited to announce that Ely Portillo, longtime reporter for The Charlotte Observer, will join the institute as Assistant Director for Outreach & Strategic Partnerships, beginning April 15.