Articles

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Charlotte leaders are looking for regional cooperation — and funding — to restart stalled transit expansion plan
   September 21, 2022
Ely Portillo

Charlotte’s transit plan is dead — long live the Charlotte region’s transit plan? 

It’s been almost two years since the $13.5 billion Charlotte MOVES plan was unveiled, and there have been weeks of hints that changes are coming to the city’s plan for expanded rail, bus and other transportation...

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Four things I wish I'd known about Charlotte's housing market before I started writing about it
   September 15, 2022
Ely Portillo

No local issue has been bigger than housing in Charlotte for the past few years — specifically, how much it costs to find a place to live. 

The soaring cost of housing dominates local news, local government meetings and local conversations. Talk to anyone in Charlotte, and it won’t be long before you hear some version of the following stories: Cruising some Zillow listings in a nearby...

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Streets of gold? Debunking American immigration myths
   September 13, 2022
Aaron Houck

The 1986 animated film An American Tail celebrates America’s story of immigration in the late 1800s and early 1900s–using mice as stand-ins for the humans who came to these shores from Eastern and Southern Europe. The anthropomorphic rodents’ unrealistic hopes for their new home were best expressed in the song “...

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Charlotte's changing climate, with Brad Panovich
   September 12, 2022
Ely Portillo

From seemingly endless heat waves in the west to catastrophic floods from Kentucky to Pakistan, a drumbeat of extreme weather has dominated the news this summer. In Charlotte, it can feel like we’re not on the front lines of climate change — we’re not on the coast watching sea levels...

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Unruly plants and passionate attraction in a Charlotte garden
   September 8, 2022
Ruth Ann Grissom

I love playing matchmaker in my garden. I introduce plants that will be compatible in terms of color, texture and form. As with humans, the best relationships achieve a balance of contrast and harmony. For example, I paired little bluestem and rattlesnake master because they share the same blue foliage, but one is coarse and strappy while the other is refined and upright. These arranged...

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Shrinking Charlotte’s transit ambitions to get something built
   September 7, 2022
Ely Portillo
Steve Harrison, WFAE

Almost two years after Charlotte’s ambitious transit expansion plan was unveiled, local officials are admitting something that’s become increasingly apparent: It might not come to fruition, at least not as originally proposed. 

That’s because the linchpin of the whole $13.5 billion Charlotte MOVES plan — a one-cent local sales tax that would require approval from the legislature in...

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Could employee ownership help close the racial wealth gap? Yes — if more people knew about it
   August 31, 2022
Ely Portillo

With a “silver tsunami” of business owner retirements looming and major generational transfers of wealth on the horizon, employee ownership of small businesses could be an attractive strategy for many firms — as well as beneficial for society.

That’s what a group of...

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How to make Charlotte a place where creatives can thrive
   August 29, 2022
Ely Portillo

Let's be honest: When you think "Charlotte," the next words to pop into your head aren't "creative powerhouse," are they?

People are more likely to think of Charlotte as a center of banking and finance, a busy airline hub, or a hothouse for the booming real estate market. But Charlotte is also a creative center in its own right, and there are people working to make sure the city learns...

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Is the Charlotte region a 'brain hub' like Raleigh-Durham?
   August 22, 2022
Aaron Houck

The Charlotte region is a banking hub, an air travel hub, even a sports hub — but is it a “brain hub”? That’s the most important question local policymakers will find themselves asking after reading Enrico Moretti’s The New Geography of Jobs. Brain hubs enjoy disproportionate prosperity and opportunity, and the gap between them and other cities and regions will only widen. Raleigh-...

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Explore new data about Charlotte via interactive maps
   August 22, 2022
Ely Portillo

The Quality of Life Explorer — Charlotte-Mecklenburg's source for more than 80 interactively mapped variables about the economy, environment, demographics and more — has been updated with new information allowing you to explore our community. 

Maps that rely on data from the U.S. Census' American Community Survey are now up-to-date. This...

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