Articles

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Think Charlotte is bland? New awards celebrate good urban design
   September 27, 2021
Ely Portillo

When you think “Charlotte” and “urban design,” do you think “bland” or “exciting”?

A new awards series, the Charlotte Urban Design Awards, is meant to prompt you to think more of the latter and less of the former. While Charlotte might get an unfair rap as a city of bland office towers and five-story, stick-built apartments, the Urbies are highlighting some of the exciting design work...

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Dollar figures for the Silver Line are slowly coming into focus
   September 27, 2021
Ely Portillo

Charlotte’s new east-west light rail is still decades away from completion, but a City Council committee on Monday got a closer look at some of the numbers dictating how, when and where the rail line is likely to be built.

Running from Gaston County, past the airport, skirting uptown’s northern end and then running southeast along Monroe Road into Union County, the 29-mile Silver Line...

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Podcast: Celebrating good urban design in Charlotte
   September 27, 2021
Ely Portillo

When it comes to Charlotte's urban design, there's a perception that the city is dominated by apartments and bland, corporate towers. 

But a new award series is trying to prove that's not the whole story. The Charlotte Urban Design Awards (or Urbies) relaunched this year, co-hosted by the UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture and the city of Charlotte, with the goal of...

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Opinion: What can Charlotte learn from ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’?
   September 23, 2021
Ely Portillo

Editor's note: This story originally appeared in Transit Time, a weekly newsletter produced in partnership by the Urban Institute, The Charlotte Ledger and WFAE. 

On the surface, Charlotte — a fast-growing, finance-powered, landlocked metropolitan region — might appear to...

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How to give migrating birds some help this year
   September 22, 2021

Emily Callicutt

As fall arrives, migratory songbirds have begun journeying south for the winter. These birds traveled north in the spring to nest and raise their young, and now they are beginning to travel south to take advantage of the warmer weather and increased access to food. Some familiar migratory birds include hummingbirds, goldfinches, and many species of warblers. In the piedmont of North Carolina,...

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Rezoning exposes questions about development in Charlotte’s new vision plan
   September 21, 2021
Ely Portillo

As Charlotte moves forward with its overhaul of development rules, a plan for new apartments and townhouses in a suburban, office-focused part of the city has exposed some of the tensions between building a future vision while living in our present reality. 

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NEW DATE: Join us for a virtual panel about the racial wealth gap
   September 20, 2021

Please note the new date and time: Due to an unforeseen conflict, this event will now take place Tuesday, Oct. 12 at noon. If you previously registered, you are automatically registered for this new date and time, and we'll send you a reminder email.

In Charlotte, as in other communities, the color of your skin correlates strongly to the amount of wealth your...

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New maps let you explore patterns of income, racial segregation and more
   September 20, 2021
Ely Portillo

Where you live in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County might reflect your race, income, education level, how old you are and even how likely you are to be in an area where eligible streams are adopted for clean-up. 

Newly updated maps from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Quality of Life Explorer let...

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With homeless numbers rising, Charlotte-Mecklenburg works on a new plan
   September 14, 2021
Ely Portillo

With the number of people experiencing homelessness in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County rising dramatically in the past year, local governments, nonprofit organizations and businesses are gearing up to implement a new plan over the next few years. 

A major goal of the 2025 Charlotte-Mecklenburg...

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Native plants for native bees in the Charlotte region
   September 13, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

A flower bed might have a vibrant assortment of blossoms, but without the movement and sparkle of pollinators, it can seem flat and static. It’s been a bad year for butterflies in my garden, and I’ve heard similar reports from across the Piedmont. Their numbers seem to be down. Their absence has made me even more grateful for the native bees I’ve managed to attract with my plantings. 

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