Articles About Social Well-being

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 you explore all these factors and more. […]

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 […]

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 subscribe here. As Charlotte prepares to invest billions more into building new light rail, local planners are also betting big on another, more humble transit technology: […]

A study released this week by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute sheds light on the unique challenges minority-owned small businesses face and how the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community can better support these enterprises, which are key to community well-being and wealth-building. Defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees, small businesses comprise 99.9% of all businesses. Small […]

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on Mary Newsom’s blog The Naked City. The first three paragraphs are from Newsom. I stood in line two hours today to order chicken from Price’s Chicken Coop, the iconic fried chicken takeout joint on Camden Road in South End that had just announced it will close in two […]

Here we are in the midst of graduation season. Even though the school experience has been different for the past year, young people are still celebrating this milestone and figuring out what to do with the rest of their lives. In rural areas like the Uwharries, that often means leaving for opportunities in other places. […]

After 18 years as director of UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute, it’s time to move on. And it’s only appropriate that the same field that first introduced me to the institute’s work is now leading me away to a new chapter, serving as North Carolinas’ Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources. My introduction to the institute came […]

There’s been a noticeable shift in the debate about density in Charlotte’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan over recent weeks. What started as a classic confrontation of progressive planning concepts vs. NIMBY-inspired resistance, has now taken on a different tone, with competing viewpoints emerging about the role that density plays in issues such as equity, affordable housing, […]

Charlotte’s notorious “50-out-of-50” ranking for economic mobility has many roots, ranging from systemic discrimination to gaps in education, health and jobs training. But one of the most consequential factors for intergenerational economic mobility is likely wealth, and the simple fact is that some families have much more than others. A key component of wealth is […]

I’ll never again look at a city’s Main Street the same way. In Mindy Thompson Fullilove’s newest book, Main Street: How a City’s Heart Connects Us All, she does something relatively rare for books about urban issues. Some focus on cities’ physical attributes, such as low-density single-family sprawl, building design, street grids, auto-dominated transportation, and […]

Parks in Charlotte can be a bit of a touchy subject. The system took a decade to recover funding and staffing levels after the Great Recession, and we’ve consistently placed near the bottom in national rankings for park space, spending and accessibility. So last week, Park & Recreation Director Lee Jones laid out three scenarios […]

It’s obvious that there were a lot fewer cars on the road last year, as we worked from home, kept kids out of school and stopped driving to sports games, concerts and dinners with friends. But you still might be surprised just how much time Charlotte drivers recovered from congestion: Nearly two full days. That’s […]