Are other cities’ good ideas a threat to Charlotte’s future?

If “superstar” cities rationalize their land-use policies, what does it mean for the Charlotte region? As the global economy increasingly rewards technological innovation, the gains from productivity enhancements have not been distributed evenly across cities and regions. The residents of so-called “superstar” cities–including Boston, New York, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle–have captured a disproportionate […]

Why not 1 billion Americans — or 3 million Charlotteans?

Quick–wherever you are, look at the people around you, or remember the last time you were in a group. Now imagine the group tripling in size. That’s the America Matthew Yglesias desires. In his book One Billion Americans, Yglesias argues that the U.S., with its 330 million people, is “empty,” with depressing future consequences for […]

How ‘neighborhood defenders’ and local government can worsen inequality

Neighborhood Defenders Katherine Levine Einstein, David M. Glick, and Maxwell Palmer Available in paperback from $24.99 Hometown Inequality Brian F. Schaffner, Jesse H. Rhodes, and Raymond J. La Raja Available in paperback from $34.99 One of the favorite mythologies of American politics is that local government is the closest thing we have to direct democracy. […]

Building some ‘there’ there: Transforming University City

One of Charlotte’s quintessential suburban communities has big plans to transform itself into a dense, walkable, mixed-use center. Greenways, sidewalks, protected bike lanes and transit would replace the car-choked expressways and huge parking lots that dominate the auto-centric area now. We’re not talking about Ballantyne or SouthPark. Leaders in University City — Charlotte’s second-largest employment […]

‘Arbitrary Lines’ and the case for killing zoning

Categories: General News Tags: DEVELOPMENT, Zoning

You’ve surely seen them, but you might not have noticed them—roadside signs with a big “Z,” indicating an upcoming public hearing on zoning at an interminable City Council meeting. Most of us know that zoning exists. Perhaps we even know it involves planning and land use. But for many of us, the specific details are […]

Lessons from ‘Fixer-Upper: How to Repair America’s Broken Housing Systems’

Brookings Institution Press (February 22, 2022) From $24.99 (paperback) Length: 210 pages Who should read it? Fixer-Upper is a great book for policymakers and people interested in understanding the nitty-gritty of how some housing policies have distorted the market and driven up prices. The data and anecdotes agree: people in the Charlotte region are struggling […]

Explore these data sources to learn more about Charlotte

Charlotte is a fast-growing city where the skyline changes by the month and neighborhoods are reshaped at a disorienting pace. But there are a multitude of data sources to help you understand the city and your community. You can start with interactive maps like the Quality of Life Explorer (produced by the Urban Institute in […]

Examining housing needs at Brookhill Village in the event of redevelopment

In 2020, Lookout Housing Ventures proposed a redevelopment plan for Brookhill Village, a 36-acre naturally occurring affordable housing development near the intersection of Remount Road and South Boulevard. Although the proposed development has not moved forward, the approximately 120 households of Brookhill Village may be at risk of displacement if Brookhill Village were to be […]

Podcast: How parking can strangle a city, and what to do about it

Abundant, convenient, cheap — or even free — parking, right where you want it, so you can drive up to your destination and find a space right by the door. Sounds great, right? Maybe so — unless that abundant parking is killing your city. Donald Shoup is a distinguished research professor at UCLA in the […]

Five things to watch as Charlotte grows in 2022

Categories: General News Tags: DEVELOPMENT, PLANNING

Despite the pandemic and economic uncertainty, 2021 was a banner year for Charlotte, with major developments announced, a long-awaited new vision plan for the city and big – if uncertain – steps towards a new transit plan. The city’s growth isn’t expected to slow in 2022, but the ways in which Charlotte grows could change. […]