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The 2019 Hurricane Season Is Here: Now What?

July 9, 2019

“[I]t is critical to learn from events such as Florence, to minimize the damages and streamline the response and recovery for the next storm…The growing economic and human costs of these events require that we not only change how we respond, but do so far more quickly than we have in the past.” This … Continued

CED and Planning vs Income Inequality Part 1: When Communities Pay the Price

April 16, 2019

Income inequality is not a new issue for CED professionals. In November 2011, the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco devoted an issue of its publication, Community Investments,to how income inequality was impacting community development. A Federal Reserve Board governor is quoted in the report, … Continued

New CED Data Resources Keep Rolling Out: The Opportunity Atlas, The Eviction Lab, Every Building in America and A Look Back to How Data Can Help in Disaster Recovery

October 16, 2018

Data are clearly no longer the purview of academics and government officials writing research reports with five pages of text and one hundred appendixes.   This post focuses briefly on several amazing datasets that are available with detailed information for CED professionals, as well as a reminder … Continued

It’s How Much?! Cost of Living Data for NC Counties and Select Cities

July 17, 2018

North Carolina communities are undergoing rapid economic change at different rates in different parts of the state.  Issues such as affordable housing, appropriate rate levels for public services, costs of commuting and wage growth (or stagnation) are now key for CED officials, whether your communit … Continued

Lessons for CED from Europe: Housing, Job, Food, or Fuel Poverty…All Roads Lead to a Social Inclusion Model

January 16, 2018

For the past five months I served as a visiting scholar to the University of Ghent in Belgium.   The link between food insecurity, a particular focus on my work in North Carolina, and larger overall economic insecurity issues has been getting increased focus across a number of European countries. Be … Continued

Hidden in Plain Sight

January 9, 2018

Mobile homes are a vital but generally unloved part of North Carolina’s affordable housing stock. They come to public attention in times of extreme weather, particularly high winds and floods. Their condition and location make them especially vulnerable to damage, and often their occupants – the eld … Continued

Catawba County’s Innovative Water Service Partnership Model

October 25, 2017

It seems like almost everyone, including regulators and utility organizations, recognize the benefits and need for expanded partnerships and collaboration in the water and wastewater sector. Small towns are finding it difficult to meet their growing infrastructure and regulatory needs and are talkin … Continued

Lessons for CED from Europe: Inclusive Communities and a New City-Run Food Pantry

October 17, 2017

The photo was eerily familiar to anyone interested in CED.  The headline from the New York Times article on September 20, just days before the German national election, read, “Merkel Says Germans ‘Never Had It Better.’ But Many Feel Left Behind.”  The accompanying photo by Gordon Welters, shown here … Continued

Vending Machines or Barn Raising: The Role of Local Government in Community Building

October 10, 2017

I recently was asked to speak to a joint meeting of town councils of four communities in Eastern North Carolina. The subject they asked me to speak about was community engagement. What I ended up spending most of my time talking about were two frames for thinking about the role of local government i … Continued

Property Buy-Outs: A Good Option for Local Governments and Homeowners?

September 5, 2017

The devastating impact of flooding is once more in the public spotlight following the unprecedented rainfall from Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Nearer to home, residents in Princeville, Fair Bluff, Seven Springs, Windsor, Kinston and Lumberton NC are planning how to build stronger and safer after Hurri … Continued