Citizen Participation

The power of active citizenship and civic engagement in seeking justice for youth

The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing protests for racial justice have shone a spotlight on the social inequalities present in our country. This is especially true within the U.S. education system. The current state of our country highlights just how inequitable access to education is, and conversations around access to healthcare, affordable housing, poverty and racial […]

New maps show Charlotte demographic trends

New data on the Quality of Life Explorer mapping tool paint a picture of how demographics are changing across Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, as well as other measures such as bicycle friendliness, voter participation and average water consumption. The Quality of Life Explorer is a joint tool of Mecklenburg County, the city of Charlotte and […]

Community foundations demonstrate the importance of regional links

Can philanthropy foster greater regional connection? Yes, according to our research for the Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection project. But it’s not just the movement of money that matters, say local leaders: it’s the regional exchange of ideas about how to put that money to work that seems to make a difference. Community foundations, by definition, have […]

Can these programs bridge the gap between urban and rural leaders?

Are rural leaders different than their urban counterparts? And how can programs that develop leaders bridge the gap between them, if indeed there is one? With leadership emerging as a key issue in research for the Carolinas Urban-Rural Connections project, we asked several leadership programs in the Carolinas about their experiences working with leaders from […]

New way to learn what Charlotte-Mecklenburg thinks: YourVoiceCLT

Members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community have a new way to share their opinions on a variety of issues with the launch of YourVoiceCLT. The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, in partnership with researchers from the university’s Ph.D. in Public Policy Program and the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, has developed YourVoiceCLT, a Charlotte community […]

Uptown art to ‘Edge City’ growth: Learn Charlotte on foot

[highlight] THE 2018 CHARLOTTE CITY WALKS HAVE CONCLUDED FOR THE YEAR. PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THE PLANCHARLOTTE.ORG NEWSLETTER (SEE SIGN-UP AT RIGHT ON THIS PAGE) TO BE NOTIFIED ABOUT 2019 CHARLOTTE CITY WALKS[/highlight] [highlight]SEE THE LIST OF 2018 CITY WALKS [/highlight] Charlotte neighborhoods have stories to tell – stories many residents have never heard. Explore […]

How can more people be inspired to civic involvement?

What motivates Charlotteans to vote? Volunteer? Hold political conversations or attend events? The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and Johnson C. Smith University, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Google, have spent the past 11 months studying civic engagement in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The project, “Charting the Civic Landscape […]

A day for neighborhoods to explore their future

If Charlotte is a city of neighborhoods, what happens when almost 20 of those neighborhoods spend a half-day at a retreat to encourage goal-setting? To find out, I spent Saturday morning at the City of Charlotte’s fourth Neighborhood Boards Retreat. Not surprisingly, the neighborhood representatives emerged with a cluster of goals. Representatives from 18 neighborhoods […]

Voters born elsewhere make up nearly half of N.C. electorate

One hundred years ago, when North Carolina had a population of about 2.5 million people, more than nine out of 10 residents were native Tar Heels. Today’s North Carolina, in contrast, approaches a population of 10 million, with more than 4 million residents born in another state or country. Population growth and change have had […]

Have your say on area’s growth

How should the Charlotte region grow over the next 50 years? It’s a complicated question, but planners from area towns and cities and the Centralina Council of Governments have been at work finding an answer. And once again, they’re looking for the public’s help. In March, the CONNECT Our Future program will hold open forums […]