Charlotte, NC
The Global Evolution of a New South City

Edited by William Graves and Heather A. Smith

Learning from a Sunbelt city


"Taken as a whole, this edited volume is an invaluable guide to understanding Charlotte, and more generally the growth and transformation experienced by cities in the Sunbelt."

"Recommended for all urban geographers, economists, and historians interested in the modern South. It would also be useful reading for southern politicians still struggling to make up their minds about the meaning and cultural cost of embracing modernity."
Journal of American History

“How are global influences and local conditions interacting to shape southern history in the twenty-first century? This engaging collection offers many original and unexpected assessments and illustrations of the newest ‘New South.’ Contributing scholars use a range of approaches to uncover fresh perspectives on demographic, economic, and cultural change, as well as subsequent urban development. Read this timely account of Charlotte’s current transition and you will come to understand much about the broader arc of southern history in the making.”
—Emily Zimmern, President, Levine Museum of the New South

“It is time we had a major book about Charlotte’s rise to regional, national, and global prominence. This unique and valuable work satisfies that need admirably. Well written and nicely illustrated, it will be embraced by urbanists and by those in Charlotte who have yearned for a timely, comprehensive overview of their city.”
—Stanley D. Brunn, coeditor of Cities of the World: World Regional Urban Development

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The rapid evolution of Charlotte, North Carolina, from “regional backwater” to globally ascendant city provides stark contrasts of then and now. Once a regional manufacturing and textile center, Charlotte stands today as one of the nation’s premier banking and financial cores with interests reaching broadly into global markets. Once defined by its biracial and bicultural character, Charlotte is now an emerging immigrant gateway drawing newcomers from Latin America and across the globe. Once derided for its sleepy, nine-to-five “uptown,” Charlotte’s center city has been wholly transformed by residential gentrification, corporate headquarters construction, and amenity-based redevelopment. And yet, despite its rapid transformation, Charlotte remains distinctively southern—globalizing, not yet global.

This book brings together an interdisciplinary team of leading scholars and local experts to examine Charlotte from multiple angles. Their topics include the banking industry, gentrification, boosterism, architecture, city planning, transit, public schools, NASCAR, and the African American and Latino communities. United in the conviction that the experience of this Sunbelt city—center of the nation’s fifth-largest metropolitan area—offers new insight into today’s most pressing urban and suburban issues, the contributors to Charlotte, NC: The Global Evolution of a New South City ask what happens when the external forces of globalization combine with a city’s internal dynamics to reshape the local structures, landscapes, and identities of a southern place.

Page count: 320 pp.
37 b&w photos; 10 maps
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $27.95

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William Graves and Heather A. Smith are associate professors of geography at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.