Apr 09, 2014
From Hyde Park to Sheffield Park to Madison Park, Charlotte neighborhoods are filled with people who love where they live. The Jane's Walk festival May 2-4 offers a way to show the world what's great about where you live. (Photo: Mary Newsom)
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)
Apr 02, 2014
For PlanCharlotte's second anniversary, we're asking readers to nominate spots in the Charlotte region that need a design makeover. This week, we head north to Davidson. (Image:
Mar 25, 2014
For the past two years, has sponsored neighborhood walks encouraging folks to get to know their places better, in honor of urban activist Jane Jacobs. This year we're expanding into a festival of six Jane’s Walks May 2-4, in partnership with and with funding from the Knight Foundation. (Photo: Mary Newsom)
Mar 24, 2014
Some hardy local city-dwellers are opting to take transit and bicycle even when they own cars and can just as easily drive. For some, it's about the environment. For some, it's about making the city more livable and urban. And for some, it's becoming a way of life. (Photo: Corey Conner)
Mar 12, 2014
Instead of waiting for paved greenways, Mecklenburg County is building some natural-surface "dirtways." The first, in the Steele Creek area, opened last month and cost about $5,000. (Photo: Steele Creek Residents Association)
Mar 04, 2014
The City of Charlotte is starting to phase in LED streetlights, as an energy-saving move that will also lower the area's carbon footprint. (Photo: Department of Energy)
Feb 12, 2014
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan applied research institute offering consulting services and public outreach for more than 40 years. We provide research and information to help the public understand the Charlotte region. Through our websites we offer articles and data on a range of issues that could be useful to neighborhood groups. (Image: Dylan McKnight) 
Feb 12, 2014
Charlotte leaders cite Crystal City, outside Washington, as a model for new development they envision west of the airport. But this vision misses what makes Crystal City work: mass transit. (Photo: Mariana Gil/EMBARQ Brasil)
Feb 07, 2014
Charlotte city planners are moving forward with a plan to look - in stages - at revising the city-county zoning ordinance, hoping to finish that multiyear process by 2018.
Feb 05, 2014
In 2006, solar farms in North Carolina were few and far between. Last year, the state added more solar power capacity, about 400 megawatts, than any state except California. But now solar developers are facing something other fast-growing businesses have: Some pushback from neighbors who worry about their property values. (Photo: U.S. Department of Energy)
Jan 23, 2014
As hundreds of apartments pop up around transit stations in Charlotte's South End neighborhood, the city's plan for more high-density housing near its rail line is taking shape. But a sister policy encouraging apartments for low-income families isn't faring as well. (Photo: John Chesser)
Jan 22, 2014
The City of Charlotte and other local organizations are offering neighborhoods two opportunities in coming months: One will teach ways to boost traditional neighborhood newsletters using digital tools such as Twitter, texting and other online products. The other will help neighborhoods plant trees.
Jan 15, 2014
Just northeast of uptown Charlotte, in a previously abandoned and cluttered warehouse, is Lila's Garden. It's more than a for-profit hydroponic garden. The owners hope it could be a key to revitalizing a struggling neighborhood. (Photo: Selena Skorman)
Jan 08, 2014
An expert in neighborhood walkability will speak Thursday (Jan. 9) at the UNC Charlotte uptown campus. The 5:30 p.m. event will feature author Julie Campoli ("Made for Walking: Neighborhood Density and Urban Form") and a new group focused on transportation choices. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Dec 10, 2013
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute's online publication,, has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Arts & Science Council for its "City of Creeks" project. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Dec 10, 2013
Photographer Nancy Pierce's visual story of people and places along U.S. 21 offers a window into the way the road, like the region, has reinvented itself over time.
Dec 03, 2013
Urged on by the city manager, Charlotte planners are taking more initiative to contact landowners along the city's new light rail line encouraging them to follow the city's vision for the corridor, Planning Director Debra Campbell said. (Photo: John Chesser)
Nov 25, 2013
As the Dec. 31 end of a 30-year-old N.C. land preservation tax credit nears, regional land trusts scurry to finish preservation projects from donors hoping to use the credit before they lose it. (Photo: Catawba Lands Conservancy)
Nov 25, 2013
At a prominent site on Charlotte's busy Providence Road, a one-time synagogue, then school, has been demolished as part of Mecklenburg County's ongoing effort to control flooding and help water quality. (Photo: Mary Newsom)
Nov 18, 2013
Mary Newsom, associate director of urban and regional affairs at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, will moderate a panel of local experts Thursday at AARP’s “Making a More Livable Mecklenburg Summit.”
Nov 15, 2013
Want to guess the large U.S. city rated worst for walkability by Walk Score, the national rating system? That would be the Queen City. That Charlotte needs work to become more walkable is not news to the city's transportation officials. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)  
Nov 12, 2013
Code for America, a national nonprofit that works to embed tech-savvy entrepreneurs into city governments to help them work better, has chosen Charlotte as one of 10 partner cities for 2014. (Photo: Juhan Sonin, via
Nov 07, 2013
Almost 70 percent of Mecklenburg County residents surveyed during the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute's Annual Survey said they think there’s solid evidence the Earth has warmed in recent decades. An even larger majority said it’s a somewhat or very serious problem. (Photo: Takver, via
Oct 30, 2013
Below are articles about Mecklenburg County or about the whole metropolitan region.
Oct 30, 2013
A U.S. Postal Service change requiring the use of centralized box units in new neighborhoods is causing problems in some developments being forced to switch in mid-construction. (Photo: USPS)
Oct 28, 2013
Two dozen volunteers, armed with stopwatches and cameras, headed out to rate 15 intersections around Charlotte on walkability, as part of AARP Walkable Charlotte Week. (Photo: Corey Conner)
Oct 23, 2013
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department won’t pursue zoning regulations dealing with rent-by-the-bedroom apartment complexes near colleges and universities. But it will continue working to solve parking and transportation issues near the schools. (Image:
Oct 23, 2013
Today (Oct. 24) is the last chance for members of the public in Mecklenburg County to add their voices to a series of workshops that are part of a Charlotte-region-wide effort to chart a future for ourselves. Commentary. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Oct 17, 2013
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s online publication,, has won a $12,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to boost a project that will look at Charlotte’s creeks.
Oct 16, 2013
After nearly three decades of hoping for a new park, the Reid Park neighborhood in west Charlotte may be on its way to getting one designed, not by the county, but a student. (Image: Dylan McKnight)
Oct 10, 2013
A key city advisory committee has put off its recommendation on a proposed rezoning for a large car lot near a planned light rail station in University City. The deferral postpones City Council action to December – and a newly elected council. (Photo: Martin Zimmerman)
Oct 03, 2013
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)
Oct 02, 2013
A UNC Charlotte graduate student working with the Charlotte Action Research Project in some of the city's most disadvantaged neighborhoods noticed that few of the areas he was working in had won Neighborhood Matching Grants from the city. He decided to look into it. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Sep 19, 2013
TORONTO – Maybe the game-changer is 3-D printing. Or maybe it’s “autonomous driving,” and we’ll never again have to parallel park. Maybe it’s “the Internet of everything.” In any case, it’s obvious big changes will be coming to cities worldwide. Commentary. (Photo: Niels Dejgaard)
Sep 18, 2013
One lucky parking spot in NoDa gets to become a park for eight hours on Friday. Volunteers who’ll transform a space on North Davidson Street will ensure that Charlotte once again joins an international list of cities observing PARK(ing) Day. (Image: Keihly Moore)
Sep 16, 2013
Mecklenburg County is considering ordinance changes that could require residents to recycle plastics, aluminum cans, yard waste and paper. (Photo: Mary Newsom)
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)
Sep 04, 2013
With help from a federal grant, the City of Charlotte will for the first time in 30 years survey its historic buildings and neighborhoods to identify potential historic districts and landmarks. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Sep 04, 2013
Four properties proposed for historic landmarking will go before the Charlotte City Council on Monday – from the ruins of a Colonial-era grist mill site to a 1960s Modernist home. (Photo: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission)
Sep 03, 2013
Does your neighborhood need help creating a website, using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, learning how to send text message alerts or any other digital communications? (Photo: iStock)
Sep 02, 2013
Organizers are hopeful for a strong turnout for Saturday's annual creek clean-up, Big Sweep. Already 500 people have registered; last year 300 volunteers took part and pulled 10,000 pounds of trash from streams in the county. To register, click here. (Photo: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services.)
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 29, 2013
Click here to read the article that explains this data dashboard.
Aug 26, 2013
Nearly 18 months after a Garinger High School student was struck by a car and killed crossing Eastway Drive at Sugar Creek Road, the city has OK'd spending money to improve the intersection. But construction won't start until fall 2014. (Photo: Mary Newsom)
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.
Aug 13, 2013
Last month, consultants for the City of Charlotte delivered their assessment of the city’s zoning ordinance. The study came in two parts – an Assessment Report and an Approach Report. Like the two parts of the report, after reading it I had two reactions: encouraged, and anxious to see more meaningful action. Commentary. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Aug 08, 2013
Whether you recall the old “inner city” image of poverty and dysfunction, or today's hipster downtowns, both images focus on the central core. That’s one of the biggest challenges facing U.S. cities today: the need to address the whole urban organism of city plus suburb plus exurb. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Jul 30, 2013
Development patterns along Charlotte's Blue Line show a mixed bag of more low-density neighborhoods than planners recommend. That means the corridor is brimming with opportunity to develop more intensely, and in a way that puts walkable, diverse urban neighborhoods near transit. (Photo: Melissa Currie)
Jul 24, 2013
Charlotte’s zoning ordinance sometimes gets in the way of carrying out adopted plans, a consultant’s report concludes. It also can be confusing, with occasionally contradictory requirements. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)