The 14-county Charlotte region is a vast and vibrant area covering two states, with communities that range from rural to urban and an increasingly diverse set of residents. This region faces a wide range of issues, and the Urban Institute is committed to exploring these issues, and possible solutions, through data and storytelling.


The arts and outdoor recreation are vital parts of the economic, cultural and social well-being of the Charlotte region. Both can be drivers for economic development. As a fast-growing region, we face both challenges and opportunities for expanding equitable access to the arts and outdoor recreation activities.


An economically healthy metropolitan region needs a vibrant urban core as well as strong suburban and rural communities. The institute offers articles and research on a variety of economic topics.


Strong K-12 and higher education systems are critical to the economic vitality and social well-being of a region. The Charlotte region faces disparities both within and between its constituent counties. The institute offers research to focus on these disparities and highlight possible solutions. 


The Charlotte metropolitan region’s future depends on the health of its natural and built environment, from tree canopies to our waterways, preserved natural areas to sound land use planning and urban design. The institute offers articles and research on a variety of environmental topics. 


An engaged populace is the cornerstone of a healthy society, and government at all levels is responsible for implementing and funding solutions to the myriad challenges we face. The institute’s region includes two state governments, 14 counties, dozens of municipalities and, of course, the federal government.


Healthy people are key to a healthy society. But within the greater Charlotte region, disparities exist in access to healthcare, disease rates and illness outcomes. The institute examines these issues and their impact on our region. 


Like growing regions across the U.S., Charlotte has faced rapidly rising housing costs in recent years. That’s fueled an increase in people struggling to pay the bills, and in the number of people who can’t afforda a place to live. Working with local partners, the institute examines these issues, offers research and points to possible policy solutions. 


Ensuring public safety is key to economic growth and social well-being. The institute studies issues related to all aspects of fostering safe and just communities. 


From health to housing to education, the institute offers articles and research on a variety of issues affecting social well-being in the 14-county Charlotte region.


A rapidly growing population means more cars on our roads, as commuters and families move about the region. Charlotte faces increasing congestion, decisions about future investments in transit and questions about how to avoid the paralyzing gridlock that afflicts many other auto-dependent cities.