Articles

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Preserving the past while embracing change
   September 2, 2021
Ely Portillo

Charlotte has a reputation as a shiny new city, one that tears down grand old buildings to replace them with bland new apartments and historic marker plaques. 

But that's not the whole truth, and the guests on this episode of "Future Charlotte" are devoted to preserving and promoting more of Charlotte's history. Historian Dan Morill, longtime director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg...

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Watch: Health disparities in Charlotte along racial, socioeconomic fault lines
   August 31, 2021

Health and economic mobility are connected, and the burdens of poor health don't fall equally on different groups in our society.

In Charlotte, where you live — along with your race, income and other demographic factors — has a big impact on aspects of health, from access to pharmacies to fresh food and even average age of death. 

On Aug. 26, a panel of local experts convened...

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Mapping Charlotte's future: What are place types?
   August 30, 2021
Ely Portillo

There are, broadly, two big worlds that overlap in the planning and development realm: The dirty, hands-on physical world of building and construction, and the wonky, alphabet-soup-of-jargon world of zoning, regulation and land use policy. 

Right now, Charlotte's in the heat of the wonky phase. Although it's drawn far less attention than the contentious debate over the 2040 plan, the...

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Watch: Housing, urban renewal and equity in Charlotte
   August 25, 2021

Decades of housing policy, from redlining to legal segregation to "urban renewal," have left Charlotte a deeply unequal city, contributing to a large racial wealth gap and vastly different rates of homeownership between residents of different races.

On Aug. 24, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute researcher Angelique Gaines and assistant director Ely Portillo joined local experts for a...

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Overcoming the 'stigma' of riding the bus
   August 23, 2021
Ely Portillo

This story was originally published in the Transit Time newsletter, which is produced in partnership between the Charlotte Urban Institute, the Charlotte Ledger and WFAE. Find out more and ...

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Searching for the crested coralroot
   August 13, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

Less than 70 miles. That’s the distance between my home in Charlotte and our place in the Uwharries. Sometimes the two feel worlds apart. Blue city, red county. Skyscrapers, silos. Congested streets, open roads. High-rise condos, low-slung ranch houses. It sometimes seems they have nothing in common. And then a rare occurrence reminds us just how much we share. 

On the first Uwharrie...

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Podcast: Protecting water while we grow
   August 11, 2021

Water seems like an almost limitless resource. Turn on the tap, and there it is, clean and ready to use. 

Until, one day, it isn't. 

Catawba Riverkeeper Brandon Jones joins this episode of the Future Charlotte podcast to talk about the biggest threats to our water (growth is high on the list, as we add more impervious...

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Here and gone: When major buildings don't even make it to middle age
   August 9, 2021
Ely Portillo

Charlotte is a city that’s often criticized for tearing down its history. But some of the most significant demolitions of the past few decades haven't been historic structures, but rather buildings that didn’t make it to middle age — or even puberty. 

In a fast-growing city, plenty of change is to be expected. The built environment doesn’t stand...

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Join us for a virtual panel about health disparities in Charlotte
   August 2, 2021
Ely Portillo

Health influences everything from a person's ability to work to medical debt, and health inequalities have big consequences in our community on economic mobility and people's ability to get ahead. Yet the burden of poor health is not evenly spread, because of food deserts, lack of access to insurance, pharmacies and doctors, and the embedded effects of decades of racial segregation and...

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Data that show why Charlotte houses are so expensive - and scarce
   July 28, 2021
Ely Portillo

Buying a house in the Charlotte region has, in many ways, never been more challenging. Buyers face a dizzying array of obstacles: A historic supply crunch, skyrocketing prices and homes that sell faster and faster each month. 

The reasons are numerous. Housing supply never fully recovered after the 2008 economic crash and Great Recession drove homebuilders out of business; pandemic-...

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