Policy Analysis

Panelists at the 2019 Schul Forum

Since its founding in 1969, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute has been a resource for understanding important policy issues facing the greater Charlotte region and the Carolinas.  Many of these issues are addressed regularly through articles and data stories that can be found on our website’s Issues and Data pages.

Through its research and policy teams, the institute also taps into the university’s rich intellectual resources to explore regional policy issues in more depth through focused research, analysis and engagement.  In partnership with governmental, non-profit, philanthropic and grassroots leaders, the institute periodically lifts up key issues facing the Charlotte region for a closer look. The insitute also hosts periodic forums to explore policy issues in-depth, bringing together an array of local and national experts to share their knowledge. 

The Marianne M. and Norman W. Schul Forum Series 

In 2019, the institute launched the first annual Marianne M. and Norman W. Schul Forum Series to serve as an annual event focused on policy issues affecting the Charlotte region, convening local leaders, national experts and researchers from the institute and other parts of UNC Charlotte. The institute’s first director, Dr. Norm Schul, and his wife, Marianne ‘73, enabled the creation of the series with a generous endowment gift in 2018 to honor the institute’s 50th anniversary.

The Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection

In 2017, The Duke Endowment’s Rural Church program awarded the institute a two-year grant for a research and community engagement-based project intended to bring greater understanding to the economic and social interdependence that shaped regional growth in the central Carolinas over the past century, as well as the state of intraregional connections today.

The Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection shed light on the ties that bind our region, and how we might shape and grow those connections in the future to foster greater regional prosperity. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing and Homelessness Reports

In partnership with Mecklenburg County, the institute produces regular reports on the state of the local housing market, housing instability and homelessness. This work forms the basis of the Housing & Homelessness Dashboard.

The Racial Wealth Gap

In partnership with Bank of America, the institute produced a report and a seven-part web series on the racial wealth gap in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, as well as what factors have created and sustained this gap for so long. 

Social Capital in Mecklenburg County

Social capital refers to refers to the material resources or non-material benefits arising from our social relationships and networks. In 2019, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute partnered with Leading on Opportunity, Opportunity Insights, Foundation for the Carolinas, Communities in Schools, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, and SHARE Charlotte, with additional funding from The Gambrell Foundation, to conduct a new baseline measurement of social capital in Mecklenburg County.