The Community Campus Forum was a big success and at CHARP we hope to build on that success. Correspondents from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Lynn Roberson and Kendall Cook) wrote about the event and the story has landed on the front page of the CLAS website.
This report details the findings and outcomes of a year-long initiative in the suburban neighborhood of Windy Ridge in Charlotte, North Carolina. The project was funded by the Raleigh-based Z. Smith Reynolds (ZSR) Foundation and, as such, a version of this report was also submitted to ZSR after the year of funding had elapsed. The report’s authors are all based at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in either the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences or in the Architecture Department.
One of CHARP's newest members, Melissa Currie, wrote a guest essay for Citiwire.net titled "Who, Then, is an American?" The essay discusses how Americans view regionalism and space and how our particular tendencies may inhibit regional cooperation or allow us to take on the new challenges of the 21st century.
"Who, Then, Is an American?" by Melissa Currie
The study in the New York Times looks at how the spatially segregated and physically divided urban landscapes in America are negatively impacting those who earn lower incomes. It is harder for those in lower income brackets to move up the income ladder. The researchers quoted in the article found that mixed-income communities among other factors dealing with education and civic engagement improved income mobility.
The link below will take you to the article that has impressive maps and visual aids demonstrating which parts of the country offer the hardest climb on the ladder.
Undergraduates worked tirelessly with the Friends of Miss Bonnie, based in the College Downs neighborhood, to create a brochure and living guide for students living in the College Downs area. The brochure gives students some history and advice on how to navigate living among non-students and long-time residents. The finished product is informative and visually striking. The Friends of Miss Bonnie hope to use this brochure and pass it out to incoming students in order to create better relationships and ties between students and non-students in the area.
The prevalence of abandoned houses due to the lengthy foreclosure crisis has increased in Charlotte. "Zombie properties" denote a property that an owner has walked away from but the bank or lender has yet to take ownership of it. It is truly a house in limbo. These abandoned properties can attract disrepair, vandalism, and crime. In Charlotte 1,150 houses have been abandoned. In North Carolina the average foreclosure process lasts almost 10 months.
Arthur Pryer, a two-year graduate student liaison, has completed and defended his master's thesis. The thesis focused on comparing the public park facilities enjoyed by Dilworth and Reid Park. The comparisons look at the socioeconomic conditions around the parks as well as comparing the history and quality of the facilities. Congratulations to Artie. His thesis is attached and we hope you enjoy it.
Liz Shockey and Tara Bengle presented their research as well as CHARP's at the recent Planners' Network conference, Beyond Resilience: Actions for a Just Metropolis. Liz Shockey's presentation focused on the role place attachment plays in organizing and community-university partnerships while Tara Bengle discussed her work with participatory action research and how this method of research can present positive attributes and challenges to doctoral scholarship.
Dr. Joe Kuhns, based in UNC Charlotte's Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, has expanded the knowledge surrounding the act of burglary. Dr. Kuhns in collaboration with other researchers around the country interviewed offenders convicted of burglary to better understand the motivations for this crime and what can be employed to deter acts of this nature.
Our first Neighborhood Campus Forum brought our neighborhood partners together with faculty and students on UNC Charlotte's main campus. Residents from Reid Park, Enderly Park, and Graham Heights spoke about the issues and research questions that impact their quality of life and sought partners on campus to help them answer these questions. Faculty and students from a variety of disciplines were on hand to ask questions, offer input, and step forward to be active future partners. The event was a grand success and we at CHARP would like to thank all of those who attended.