Articles about Public Safety

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Are bus-only lanes a key part of Charlotte’s transit future?
   May 14, 2021
Ely Portillo

This story is part of the Transit Time newsletter, a partnership between the Urban Institute, the Charlotte Ledger and WFAE. Find out more and subscribe here

For six months, commuters and residents near Central Avenue in east Charlotte faced an unfamiliar sight: “BUS...

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Report: Charlotte’s streets are dangerous for pedestrians
   March 30, 2021
Ely Portillo

It’s increasingly dangerous for people to walk in the Charlotte area, according to a new, annual report – a trend that’s mirrored in almost every city nationwide.

Dangerous by Design,” published by Smart Growth America, uses federal data to rank metro areas by pedestrian fatalities. The Charlotte region ranked as the 34...

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The city wakes up to its future
   March 22, 2021

David Walters

Sometimes I feel as if I'm watching a play. It's one I've seen before - performed many times in different venues. It's called "The City Wakes Up To Its Future." We have now reached the penultimate act. I'm referring, of course, to the recent cyclone of activity that's swirling around Charlotte's proposed 2040 Comprehensive Plan - a document that...

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Moving to the suburbs: Three things I’ve learned that make me hopeful
   February 22, 2021
Ely Portillo

When the moving truck pulled up to the Dilworth duplex we’d been renting for years, I felt more than a twinge of regret to be leaving the urban amenities I’d come to love.

Living within a short walk of two supermarkets, plentiful coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and some of Charlotte’s best parks was a fantastic convenience. But after nearly a decade in Dilworth, three different...

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Housing First Process Evaluation: Many housed, but lessons to learn
   September 3, 2020
Lori Thomas
Joanne Carman

Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg (HFCM) was launched in 2015 to end chronic homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg by scaling housing first, particularly the housing first permanent supportive housing model.

Housing first programs prioritize housing as an early step in service delivery, have low-barrier admissions policies, maximize client choice in housing and services, use a harm...

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Residents wait to see if they can stay in fast-changing South End
   June 4, 2020
Mae Israel
Debbie Williams grew up in Charlotte’s Brookhill Village, a neighborhood of one-story duplex and triplex apartments built for black families in the 1950s. She has watched while its owners let the buildings deteriorate as luxury apartments began rising nearby.  Two decades ago, she moved away. But her mother and sister remained in the low-rent housing community, home to several generations of... Read more


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Inequalities in Charlotte: Coronavirus shines a spotlight
   April 9, 2020
Ely Portillo
As unemployment rises and schools remain closed, the coronavirus crisis is highlighting some of the many inequalities in the Charlotte region.  Those problems go beyond the ones we’re familiar with, such as income inequality and patterns of segregation. They point to deeply embedded inequalities in how we’ve built our city and our region, as well as access to key infrastructure.  Read more


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Would closing these streets help our lack of public space?
   March 9, 2020

Clayton Sealey, CLT Development
A steady rain of giggles falls on a busy street in Uptown Charlotte. It’s May 2019, and a neat row of see-saws undulate back and forth, bright LED strips highlighting their movement, as elated, carefree riders push off. The smell of food trucks serving eager patrons wafts through the air. Parents watch, relaxed, knowing they don’t have to pull their child out of oncoming traffic, as kids run... Read more


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The Urban Institute Research Faculty Fellows seek to better our region
   August 12, 2019
Lori Thomas
A new program designed to identify solutions for some of the pressing needs and issues of the greater Charlotte region is getting underway this fall at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. For the first time, the Institute has named a cohort of Faculty Fellows to conduct short-term research projects and work alongside community stakeholders to understand and share findings that can guide community... Read more


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Do youth end up in the justice system because they disengage from school?
   June 10, 2019
Ely Portillo
A UNC Charlotte professor used the integrated data system at the Institute for Social Capital, a part of the Urban Institute, to examine whether students of color are more likely to enter the juvenile justice system because they’re more disengaged from school. Her conclusion: “The way our kids are being processed in the system is affected by the color of their skin.” Read more