Articles

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Charlotte considers changes to tree, height, parking rules
   May 25, 2022
Ely Portillo

At a work session about the city’s new unified development ordinance this week, Charlotte City Council members repeated several phrases so often they sounded like mantras: Middle ground, finding a balance, and trade-offs.

The ongoing work illustrates the balancing – and sometimes the tension – inherent in translating a high-level document like the Charlotte 2040 Vision Plan approved...

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Ghost Tales of the Uwharries
   May 25, 2022
Ruth Ann Grissom

It was a warm, late-April evening in the Uwharries. Conditions seemed auspicious. The skies were clear, and the wind was calm. The moon wouldn’t rise until the wee hours. At dusk, my husband and I threw some camp chairs and a cooler into the bed of the truck. We drove halfway up the mountain near the house, navigating by our parking lights. The tree canopy enclosed the narrow, abandoned road....

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Car-free Life for a Family of Four in Delft, Netherlands
   May 18, 2022
Martin Zimmerman

Charlotte-based architect and urban planner Martin Zimmerman talks with Melissa and Chris Bruntlett about their latest book and their family’s first few years living and navigating Delft, a 1,200 year-old city in the Netherlands, mostly by bike, at speeds rarely exceeding ten miles per hour. 

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Listen: What's next for Charlotte transit?
   May 18, 2022
Ely Portillo

When WFAE, The Charlotte Ledger and the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute launched a joint newsletter last year to cover transit and transportation, we assumed that the main focus would be the 1-cent transit sales tax vote.

Well, that vote didn't happen and the transit plan is in a bit of limbo, but we've still found plenty to write about, from...

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Searching for solutions for Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis
   May 16, 2022
Ely Portillo

With rents and home prices shooting up to record levels, it’s not news that finding a place to live in Charlotte is getting more expensive. Last week, the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative brought together local and national experts, advocates and community members in search of policy solutions that could help ameliorate the situation.

One takeaway: There’s no silver bullet, no single...

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Charlotte's big goal: Take half of all trips in something besides a car
   May 10, 2022
Ely Portillo

Charlotte transportation leaders laid out an ambitious goal this week: By 2040, half of all trips in the city should be taken in something besides a car.

That would be a major shift. Right now, somewhere around three-quarters of trips within the city are currently made using single-occupant vehicles, transportation staff said at the City Council transportation committee meeting.

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Investors buying up the American dream
   May 5, 2022
Ely Portillo

Corporate landlords like American Homes 4 Rent and Invitation Homes now own 40,000 single-family homes across North Carolina. In Mecklenburg County, they now account for one in four rental properties. 

That's according to a new, months-long investigation by the Charlotte Observer and the Raleigh News & Observer. The series, "Security for Sale," details how  Wall Street-backed...

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Charlotte's transit riders are returning — slowly
   May 5, 2022

Steve Harrison, WFAE

March 2022 is arguably when Charlotte and the country turned the corner on the pandemic.

With Omicron waning, Charlotte’s major banks brought back their employees, at least on a hybrid schedule. Bank of America returned vaccinated workers on March 1. Wells Fargo came back two weeks later.

March is a good baseline for what a post-pandemic transit system may look like, in a time...

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Using integrated data to center racial equity in local violence prevention work
   May 4, 2022
Sydney Idzikowski

Violence impacts all of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, but the toll doesn’t fall equally across members of our community. There are pronounced disparities along racial lines. A new, data-focused learning community will help local leaders across sectors find collaborative solutions to prevent and address violence in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. 

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Robots delivering coffee, drones with pills, self-driving shuttles: Is the future here yet?
   April 28, 2022
Ely Portillo

The future of transportation has arrived in Charlotte — but the future comes with a few asterisks. 

This year has already seen a slew of announcements about futuristic transportation options in the Charlotte region (to say nothing of a new robot security guard uptown and...

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