Letter: Urban Institute's mission is to seek community solutions

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 22, 2006

Please allow me to respond to Jeff Morris’ Dec. 11 letter to the editor asserting that the “Urban Institute’s real mission is to restrict property use.”

The UNC-Charlotte Urban Institute’s mission, as stated at the top of our home page at www.ui.uncc.edu, is “to seek solutions for the social, economic, and environmental challenges facing our communities.” This is different from the mission statement excerpted in Mr. Morris’ letter for the Open Space Institute of the Carolinas, which is a program of the UNC-Charlotte Urban Institute. The survey referred to by Mr. Morris was conducted by the UNC-Charlotte Urban Institute as part of a series of seminars for journalists on growth and open space sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It asks about a range of public policy topics, including but not limited to open-space issues.

The survey questions were drafted by the UNC- Charlotte Urban Institute’s public opinion survey staff, who are professionals experienced in eliminating bias in the design of survey questions. The questions were reviewed prior to administration of the survey by real estate developers, open-space professionals, journalists and the project’s funders at the Knight Foundation, as an additional check against bias.

Interested readers who would like to view the survey questions will find them in the survey full report at www.ui.uncc.edu, under Appendix A.

— Jeff Michael


Editor’s note: Jeff Michael is director of the UNC-Charlotte Urban Institute.