Gaston

Jun 05, 2019
Smaller cities and towns across North Carolina are hoping an old, familiar sound will spark new life in their downtowns: The crack of a bat. Four new downtown ballparks with capacity for about 5,000 fans are popping up in the state, and officials are counting on them to draw new residents, breweries, restaurants and vitality. 
Jun 02, 2019
Three counties outside Mecklenburg have now expressed formal - though nonbinding - support for bringing a regional rail system of some kind across the border. That would be a first for Charlotte, where rail-based mass transit has so far been confined to within the city limits.
May 15, 2019
The Charlotte region is taking concrete steps towards building a regional transit system, and, in a local first, the proposed Silver Line could run through three counties. But plenty of big questions remain. Chief among them: Who will pay?
Apr 25, 2019
As cities continue to grow and thrive, with downtowns reviving and old neighborhoods being redeveloped, is their future still really in the suburbs? That's what one advocate said this week at a real estate forum, provoking debate about growth, transit and sprawl.
Jul 25, 2018
On a preserved tract in Gaston County, one determined man is fighting a long-term war to remove the invasive plant species that choke out native plants and wildlife.
Jul 09, 2018
A new report finds Charlotte and its region are underperforming in many measurements of its local food economy. 
Aug 09, 2017
As the Charlotte region urbanizes, scientists from UNC Charlotte describe how they’ll use a Gaston County site as a long-term observatory to monitor natural systems.
Sep 07, 2016
Transportation planning in the greater Charlotte region is split among five planning groups. Will a federal push to consolidate make a difference?
Jul 12, 2016
Gastonia’s huge Loray Mill held its grand opening in March 2015, showing off the adaptive reuse of the building. Now the nonprofit Preservation North Carolina aims to restore many of the houses in the nearby mill village.
Apr 13, 2016
Charlotte's George E. Davis, a tireless advocate for education and one of the leading advocates for the building of Rosenwald schools, was a major reason that a number of these schools were built in North Carolina.
Apr 12, 2016
Only a fraction of the Rosenwald Schools remain, reminders of a remarkable early 20th-century partnership of rural black communities in the South and a Jewish philanthropist from Chicago. Those remaining in Mecklenburg range from lovingly restored to painfully dilapidated.
Dec 14, 2015
The old planners’ joke is that Americans hate two things for their cities—urban sprawl and high density. PlanCharlotte examined where in this metro region multifamily is, and where it isn’t. Some communities, hoping to attract more Millennials, want more multifamily. Others’ long-range plans discourage multifamily development.
Nov 30, 2015
In what local preservationists call a major victory, a century-old depot—the deteriorating relic of a lost era of Charlotte-Gastonia passenger rail—will be moved a short distance and repaired.
Jan 28, 2015
Planners and others say alcohol sales are a primary catalyst for attracting the development of restaurants and stores. Government officials like the extra tax revenue. But in some places, voters still say no.
Oct 22, 2014
Since the 2008 housing crash, there’s been talk of Americans downsizing and Millennials rejecting large houses. But recent U.S. Census data show that in the Charlotte area, homes only got bigger after 2000.
Sep 24, 2014
Recently the site FiveThirtyEight.com reported that of the largest U.S. metros, only Charlotte’s median income, “experienced a statistically significant decline” in 2013. What’s going on?
Apr 03, 2014
Since 2010, the home counties of Charlotte and Raleigh have accounted for nearly half of all population growth in North Carolina. Just 10 N.C. counties tallied nearly 80 percent of the state's increased population. (Image: John Chesser, Tableau maps)
Dec 02, 2013
Less than two weeks after an inspiring visit to Yosemite, I was back at Crowders Mountain State Park on the Kings Pinnacle Trail. I am grateful to have such a destination so near home, and from the top I often reflect on the rich history of the peaks and the Piedmont below. (Photo: Steve Copulsky)
Oct 30, 2013
Below are articles about Gaston County or about the whole metropolitan region.
Oct 08, 2013
An artists’ colony in downtown Gastonia? That may sound far-fetched to those who remember Gastonia's textile mill past. But the Community Foundation of Gaston County is working with the nonprofit Artspace to build a project in Gastonia by 2016. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Sep 16, 2013
Charlotte-area residents will have an additional opportunity to voice their opinion on the region’s growth. A fourth Mecklenburg County workshop will be held Oct. 24 at Freedom Park as part of the  “CONNECT Our Future” planning program. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Aug 29, 2013
Click here to read the article that explains this data dashboard.
Aug 29, 2013
Between 2006 and 2013, the rate of N.C. high school students graduating on time (in four years) rose from 68.3 percent to 82.5 percent. The state's two largest districts, Wake and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, now have the same rate, 81 percent. Explore data for all N.C. districts with our interactive dashboards. (Photo: iStock)
Aug 21, 2013
Charlotte area planning and sustainability enthusiasts can have their say about the future of the region in coming weeks by getting involved in two long-range regional planning efforts.
Jul 23, 2013
Mushrooms, like those sprouting in Piedmont lawns this rainy summer, have been a decades-long avocation for Allein Stanley, a nationally recognized expert who at 84 is still helping Gastonia’s Schiele Museum add to its collections. (Photo: Amber Veverka)
Jul 10, 2013
It’s no secret the Charlotte region has seen a huge influx of newcomers, with homes built by the thousands. New Census data show the high percentage of homes that are only a few years old. With interactive, county-by-county data.
Jul 10, 2013
A photo gallery from Nancy Pierce and Mae Israel showing the redevelopment of historic textile mills in Gastonia and Rock Hill. To read the related article, click here. 
Jul 01, 2013
Gastonia and Rock Hill: two former textile towns, each with a large and empty old mill in the middle of town. How are they working to use Gastonia’s Loray Mill and Rock Hill’s old Bleachery site for economic development? (Photo: Mae Israel)
Jun 05, 2013
How can the Charlotte region prepare for the thousands of new jobs and houses expected to come here? RealityCheck2050, part of the CONNECT process, let regional participants develop their own versions of the future. (Photo: Melissa Currie)
May 31, 2013
Aided by a $5 million federal grant, residents and businesses throughout the 14-county Charlotte region are engaged in a process to envision the region's best future and create a roadmap for getting there. This interactive article describes the process, plans and players for CONNECT Our Future. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
May 15, 2013
How can cities and towns grow in ways that meet market demand, are fiscally sound, and improve their quality of life? A lecture, reported on Twitter. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)  
Apr 24, 2013
A moody night-time shot of a more than 200-year-old house outside Huntersville, and a sliver of a moon over uptown Charlotte. Those photos, by Kevin J. Beaty, were what took the top honors in PlanCharlotte.org's one-year anniversary photo contest. Click here to see all the winning photos. (...
Apr 24, 2013
A moody night-time shot of a more than 200-year-old house outside Huntersville, and a sliver of a moon over uptown Charlotte. Those photos, by Kevin J. Beaty, were what cinched top honors in PlanCharlotte.org's one-year anniversary photo contest. (Photo: Kevin J. Beaty)
Apr 17, 2013
An implied threat Monday from Charlotte City Council to withdraw support for the proposed Monroe Bypass is more fallout from an increasingly fractious battle over Charlotte’s airport.  And now, that battle might be putting at risk some long-nurtured regional cooperation. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Mar 28, 2013
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 153,015 individuals who worked in Mecklenburg County commuted from another county in the Charlotte MSA – among the highest number of county-to-county commuters in the U.S. (Photo: Nancy Pierce) 
Mar 28, 2013
In January, the Charlotte metro area population was 1.8 million people. In February, the metro area population was 2.3 million. Where did the half-million people come from? New boundaries were drawn for metropolitan statistical areas. (Photo: Downtown Chester, S.C., in Chester County, which was added to the Charlotte MSA. / Nancy Pierce)
Mar 17, 2013
Updated census data shows a continued pattern of growth focused on the center of urban areas, reversing the trend of stronger suburban growth seen in the last decade.
Mar 13, 2013
What places in our region have a hold on your heart? For our first anniversary, PlanCharlotte.org is sponsoring a photo contest for our readers. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Mar 07, 2013
Concord's Union Street, downtown Belmont and Charlotte's First Ward and Plaza Midwood neighborhoods have all been nominated for "People's Choice" awards in this year's "Great Places in North Carolina" contest. North Carolinians can vote until March 15. (Graphic: APA-NC)
Feb 28, 2013
Huntersville Town Hall was the setting for Wednesday afternoon’s public information meeting about HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes proposed on I-77. HOT lanes are a red-hot topic, and citizens were vocal about their concerns. Is the region ready to accept pay-as-you-go highways? (Photo: Melissa Currie)
Feb 14, 2013
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)
Oct 02, 2012
The Charlotte metro was definitely a hotbed of growth for the state during the past decade. But the pattern within the metro region is uneven, with much of the strongest population increases concentrated in areas north and south of Charlotte.
Sep 26, 2012
These maps show a breakdown of the SAT scores for school districts in the Charlotte region.
Sep 12, 2012
In spite of the higher levels of unemployment Charlotte has experienced in this downturn, its relatively educated workforce appears to be a long-term strength – but is it? How does Charlotte compare to other metros? These maps allow you to explore education and employment among the largest U.S. metro regions.
Aug 17, 2012
Photos by Nancy Pierce Click here to read related story.
Aug 17, 2012
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.)
Aug 08, 2012
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.
Jun 24, 2012
After almost 20 years of false starts and a near demolition, Gastonia’s most famous textile mill is likely to be redeveloped at last, city officials said Sunday.
Apr 03, 2012
Recent headlines have trumpeted the U.S. Census finding that between 2000 and 2010, the Charlotte “urbanized area” was the nation’s fastest growing among areas with 1 million or more people. But it also highlighted the inconsistent, even chaotic, differences in how the so-called Charlotte region is defined.
Mar 27, 2012
New York City and Gastonia don’t, at first glance, appear to have much in common. Yet both can offer an example of “urbanism.” And both suffered harm from well-intentioned “progress.” Charlotte architect Terry Shook reminisces ...