Social Well-Being

Growing up together: Charlotte, the Urban Institute and a time for change

After 18 years as director of UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute, it’s time to move on. And it’s only appropriate that the same field that first introduced me to the institute’s work is now leading me away to a new chapter, serving as North Carolinas’ Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources. My introduction to the institute came […]

The density & affordability question

There’s been a noticeable shift in the debate about density in Charlotte’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan over recent weeks. What started as a classic confrontation of progressive planning concepts vs. NIMBY-inspired resistance, has now taken on a different tone, with competing viewpoints emerging about the role that density plays in issues such as equity, affordable housing, […]

Exploring the racial wealth gap and housing

Charlotte’s notorious “50-out-of-50” ranking for economic mobility has many roots, ranging from systemic discrimination to gaps in education, health and jobs training. But one of the most consequential factors for intergenerational economic mobility is likely wealth, and the simple fact is that some families have much more than others. A key component of wealth is […]

Can a street help heal America’s fractures?

I’ll never again look at a city’s Main Street the same way. In Mindy Thompson Fullilove’s newest book, Main Street: How a City’s Heart Connects Us All, she does something relatively rare for books about urban issues. Some focus on cities’ physical attributes, such as low-density single-family sprawl, building design, street grids, auto-dominated transportation, and […]

Here’s what it would take for our park system to reach ‘the Disney model’

Parks in Charlotte can be a bit of a touchy subject. The system took a decade to recover funding and staffing levels after the Great Recession, and we’ve consistently placed near the bottom in national rankings for park space, spending and accessibility. So last week, Park & Recreation Director Lee Jones laid out three scenarios […]

Charlotteans got 46 hours back from traffic last year

It’s obvious that there were a lot fewer cars on the road last year, as we worked from home, kept kids out of school and stopped driving to sports games, concerts and dinners with friends. But you still might be surprised just how much time Charlotte drivers recovered from congestion: Nearly two full days. That’s […]

New report release: Single adult homelessness integrated data

Mecklenburg County Community Support Services recently released the Single Adult Homelessness Integrated Data (SAHID) Report. This is the first community report focused specifically on single adult homelessness. The report is part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Instability & Homelessness Report Series, which is funded by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services and completed by the UNC Charlotte […]

Housing First works: Report sheds light on program to end homelessness

In the shadow of COVID-19, it’s easy to lose sight of the strides Charlotte-Mecklenburg has made to address chronic homelessness. Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg (HFCM) was launched in 2015 to end chronic homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg by scaling housing first, particularly by expanding the housing first permanent supportive housing model. Through HFCM and the continued work of […]

Social Capital: A Tale of Caution and a Tale of Hope for Charlotte

This article was written by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. Data utilized in this series was collected in partnership with Leading on Opportunity, Opportunity Insights, Communities In Schools, YMCA of Greater Charlotte, Foundation For The Carolinas and SHARE Charlotte, and with staff funding from The Gambrell Foundation. To see more results from the 2019 Mecklenburg […]

Child and youth integrated homelessness data report: Part 3

Last week’s blog post provided an in-depth look at the key findings from The Child & Youth Homelessness Integrated Data Report, which was released on July 9. The new report integrates data from multiple sources to describe child and youth homelessness and service utilization patterns in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The first blog post in the series covering […]