What a year 2019 has been been for the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute: The completion of a two-year study of the connections between Charlotte and surrounding rural communities. The launch of a new Urban Institute Faculty Fellows program focusing on economic opportunity. The inaugural Schul Forum Series.
But it was also a year of reflection, as the institute celebrated its 50th anniversary.
After the 2008 recession, apartments came to dominate housing construction in Charlotte, reversing longstanding trends and outpacing the number of single-family buildings. What factors led to this, and will this furious pace of construction be sustainable?
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.
Chris Danis, Billy Prutzman & Katie Zager - Nov 18, 2019
Ecosystems such as forests and wetlands provide clean air and water, food, building materials, and recreational opportunities. The benefits people receive from nature are referred to as “ecosystem services.”
Our interactions with ecosystems can have a positive impact, boosting our health and the economy. We can also have a negative impact on the health and survival of these natural resources.