In today’s knowledge-based economy, how can rural communities in the Charlotte area use and strengthen the traditional regional linkages? With a grant from The Duke Endowment, the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute will explore that question.
Over our 50-year history at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, we’ve been committed to looking at the whole Charlotte region. So a growing divide – real or perceived – among urban, suburban and rural areas is something we take seriously.
Population growth in Charlotte has always come with plenty of costs, but rising incomes and prosperity were part of the expected returns. Yet during the recent economic downturn, as population growth continued, economic growth sputtered. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Times have been tough in the local economy, but it looks as if we’ve finally turned the corner. If growth is starting to make a comeback, exactly where will it be? Is your county ready? (Photo: U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office)
New single-family residential building permits in Mecklenburg County have been on a roller coaster ride since 2003. But preliminary numbers show a promising upswing heading into 2013. Using U.S. Census Bureau data1 to examine the previous decade's trends tracking back to 2003, what can we expect for new construction as we move forward in 2013?
In the wake of the financial crash, many real estate developments across the Charlotte region appear frozen in various stages of construction. But a few of these so-called “zombie subdivisions” may be reviving, as developers regain their financial footing and, in some cases, propose new plans. (Click here for a photo gallery of abandoned subdivisions in and around Charlotte.)
How much are homes in your neighborhood worth? The era of upside-down mortgages and foreclosures has left homeowners across the country anxious about home values – theirs and their neighbors'. In the midst of this housing market upheaval, explosive growth in the Charlotte region has reshaped residential patterns.
After decades of decline, manufacturing jobs across the country have seen a modest uptick. This long period of industry restructuring has left a strikingly different geography of manufacturing in the Carolinas; we still make furniture and textiles, but that’s not the whole story anymore.
Students in Janni Sorensen’s social inequality and planning class wrapped up the semester with presentations about their work in five Charlotte communities. Their projects and a visit from national planning and organizing expert Ken Reardon drove home the value of learning as a two-way street.
Where are urban regions growing – in their cores or suburbs? What is happening in rural areas? New population figures have fostered speculation about what growth in urban regions will be like in the future. For rural parts of the Carolinas, the issue isn’t about growth at all, but widespread decline in population.
Despite lines on maps carving out city limits and voting districts and state borders, in the real world of air and water, of urban transportation and economies, city regions function in ways our political systems may not recognize. This is the case in Charlotte and pretty much across the United States.
But is it possible to get around that problem and create meaningful ways to look at city regions as they truly are – regions? Last week I spent several days chewing over that question with more than two dozen business and nonprofit leaders, academics, writers and former mayors.
What should Charlotte look like? When discussing urban design many planners, architects and developers assume that what works in New York, San Francisco and Portland should work here. This assumption ignores the reality that Southerners have a very different perspective on "...