A glimpse at Charlotte’s future from a piece of the past

It probably wasn’t the setting Charlotte planners would have picked to unveil their vision for the future: A parking lot off Independence Boulevard, acres of scarred asphalt surrounded by a tangle of some of the city’s least pedestrian-friendly streets. But in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, an in-person event at a densely packed brewery […]

Savings, investment and racial wealth gap over generations

This is the sixth article in an ongoing series, based on a report by the Urban Institute. The report was compiled with support from Bank of America, ​which partners with the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Institute for Social Capital on research that provides insight into community initiatives. Join us Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. […]

Three ways to address affordable housing beyond subsidies

Charlotte is in the midst of a major affordable housing crunch, and though the city has substantially increased its subsidies for building leaders acknowledge there’s no way to fund the tens of thousands of units we’d need to meet demand. The city’s Housing Trust Fund bonds have been increased from $15 million to $50 million […]

Fort Mill’s historic black neighborhood maintains the old, but braces for the new

From her porch in booming Fort Mill, S.C., Barbara Mackey can point out three houses where neighbors who love her live. One takes her to church every Sunday morning. Another trims her hedges and mows her grass. A third chauffeurs her around town whenever she needs to run errands. “Here, everybody knows everybody,” says Mackey, […]

Recreation as economic development: Lessons from two approaches

Rural communities around Charlotte are looking for new economic engines. Urban residents are looking for more outdoor recreation. That provides an opportunity for communities around Charlotte to use their public lands and waterways to fuel growth. And two areas in the region that were ahead of the curve offer lessons for other communities trying to […]

Can a community land trust stop gentrification in west Charlotte? This group thinks so.

With a full-time executive director and a $200,000 grant, a three-year-old west Charlotte nonprofit is accelerating its efforts to stave off displacement with a housing strategy that’s unprecedented in this fast-developing city. In the next five years, the West Side Community Land Trust wants to build 50 permanently affordable housing units in historically black neighborhoods […]

Do youth end up in the justice system because they disengage from school?

Are youth who are disengaged from school more likely to enter the juvenile justice system – and does this vary for youth of different races and ethnicities? That was the question UNC Charlotte professor Dr. Susan McCarter set out to answer. Using data from the Institute for Social Capital, an integrated data system that’s part […]

Five maps that show inequality in Charlotte in surprising ways

Charlotte is familiar with the so-called “crescent” and “wedge,” the longstanding pattern of race, income and wealth distribution that shapes much of the city. Wealthier, and often more white, residents are concentrated in the wedge-shaped slice of south Charlotte, while an arc of lower-income communities stretches to the north, east and west. It’s an oft-referenced […]

Which students are dropping out of CMS and why?

This multimedia presentation shows the results of research into dropout behavior in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools from school years 1995-1996 to 2009-2010. It shows how concentrated poverty at a school makes the dropout situation worse for black and Hispanic/Latino students. It also shows how positive academic climate at a school lowers the chances of dropping out for […]

Neighborhood schools? More city parents are taking a fresh look

In Charlotte’s Madison Park neighborhood, Gretchen Gregg didn’t search for a magnet school, a charter school or a private school when her daughter entered kindergarten last fall. She enrolled her at the neighborhood public school, Pinewood Elementary, even though many parents in her middle-income community refuse to send their children there. In Sedgefield, another older […]