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Todd OwenPI. Cities are economic drivers for our state as they generate civic pride and identity that helps to sustain them. The well-being of North Carolina’s cities is critically important to the prosperity of the state and its citizens, but there has been insufficient attention paid to the current health of our cities. This research, funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, will assess changes in the urban well-being of North Carolina’s forty-four largest cities that represent forty percent of the state’s population. Researchers will create an index of urban conditions to evaluate how these cities are doing compared to the state as a whole and to the other cities in the study. Changes in individual cities will be measured over time. The Center for Urban & Regional Studies has collected data—population growth, poverty rates, per capita income, housing cost burdens, overcrowding, educational attainment, employment, unemployment, crime, and percentage of population between the ages of 25-34–to document recent changes and trends and to establish baselines to assess future community change. The study draws on the American Community Survey data that will be released over the next two years, expand the number and types of indicators, conduct an in-depth analysis of the data, and develop maps and web-based displays to illustrate findings in easily understandable and downloadable formats. The study will investigate the feasibility/availability of data for additional indicators on topics including: human health; transportation; environment; fiscal health; and more detailed education, employment, housing, income, and poverty data. See this project’s website or contact Todd Owen at for more detail.