Adding open space: How other cities are opening streets to pedestrians during coronavirus

This story has been updated to reflect plans Charlotte released following its publication. Across the Charlotte region, parks have been full and streets largely empty for the past several weeks, as people try to get out of their houses for fresh air and exercise while staying home from work and school. Other cities have been […]

Three ways coronavirus is impacting Charlotte transit

More than a month into local stay-at-home orders and the shutdown of large parts of Charlotte’s economy, one area is clearly feeling the impact: public transit. As might be expected, ridership numbers have plummeted, both as a result of workers staying home and the Charlotte Area Transit System reducing hours. Transit agencies around the nation […]

What does coronavirus mean for the future of urbanism in Charlotte?

Monday night’s rezoning meeting felt like most Charlotte City Council sessions from previous years, despite the mayor and staff sitting six feet apart and developers battling audio and video glitches in the remote setup. Council members heard proposals about denser developments in suburban enclaves. The biggest was a plan to transform Ballantyne Corporate Park from […]

Crises and family violence: Sometimes home isn’t safe

[Information about crisis and support services for those experiencing family violence at the bottom of the article.] Encouraging people to stay home, avoid non-essential outings is the main strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19. However, for those facing family violence, home can be anything but safe. Advocates across the country are concerned about an […]

COVID-19 closes schools and brings on its own ‘summer slide’

Students lose 20% to 30% of their school year learning gains over the summer and research has found that students of color, students with disabilities and those from low income families experience greater summer learning loss than their peers — and now, the coronavirus pandemic threatens to compound these losses. The last day CMS students […]

10 key questions for public administrators in the time of COVID-19

There will certainly be scores of studies and articles for years to come about lessons for public administrators from how our multiple levels and units of government managed the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. An important place to start is asking the right set of questions. To assist me with this task, we have the good fortune […]

One month into the coronavirus crisis, food and housing insecurity rise

Since the coronavirus lockdowns began, Mecklenburg’s resource helpline has seen housing assistance requests jump 219% and food assistance jump 747%. These numbers are an indication of the dramatic impacts we’re seeing unfold on Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s economy. It has been more than one month since Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency to combat the spread […]

Does regionalism still make sense in the era of the ‘Nation City’?

This is the first in a series of articles that will periodically explore regionalism, interconnectedness and other issues examined in the institute’s Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection report, published in fall 2019. We are living in the age of the “metropolitan revolution” in the U.S.: the city as the crucible of change in the wake of waning […]

We want to hear your COVID-19 stories

The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the city of Charlotte are collecting stories to learn what you and your neighbors are seeing and to celebrate the efforts underway by people pulling together that are getting us through this unprecedented time. What’s different? Who’s lending a helping hand? We want to hear from you. Our annual […]

Inequalities in Charlotte: Coronavirus shines a spotlight

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 […]