Community Innovation Incubator

urbanCORE supports community-engaged projects in Charlotte’s six corridors of opportunity by coordinating a grant-funded initiative called the Community Innovation Incubator (CII).

Through the CII, urbanCORE staff first facilitate discussions among corridor residents to identify a solution to a long-standing problem. They then bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers from UNC Charlotte and a group of community leaders to make the proposed solution a reality. The prominent staff role in the initial phase makes this method unique. Through the corridor projects, community and campus stakeholders establish partnerships based on reciprocity and design economically viable and sustainable solutions that corridor residents can own.

Get Involved

You may have a role to play in the CII! Each corridor project will provide grant-funded opportunities for several community organizations as well as UNC Charlotte faculty and students. Working together, they will then develop recommendations and an action plan. We welcome potential grant applicants to attend our Corridor Info Session, West Charlotte Food Project Panel, and other events in the CORE Research Series.

Corridor projects will be staggered to meet the grant’s five-year timeline.

Each project will unfold in the same phases over 15-18 months; time frames are approximate.

Phase 1: Define the Community Goal (3-6 months)

urbanCORE staff facilitate community discussions with corridor residents to identify a shared community goal.

Phase 2: Enlist the Working Group (3 months)

urbanCORE coordinates the process of recruiting relevant community stakeholders, faculty, and students to collaboratively design a plan to reach the community goal.

Phase 3: Design the Plan (6-8 months)

Community partners, faculty, and students collaborate on a plan to realize the community goal.

Phase 4: Finalize and Make Recommendations (1 month)

The project concludes with recommendations and a plan the community can follow to complete the project. It may involve handing the building off to an agency or firm, applying for a larger grant, or other next steps.

Click here to read more about the City of Charlotte’s Corridors of Opportunity


Tamara Johnson, Ph.D.

Director of Engaged Scholarship Sycamore, 401-A Phone: 704-687-5736 Holly Middleton, Ph.D. Associate Director of Engaged Scholarship Sycamore 401-D 704-687-1306

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