The City Building Lab is the community-engaged research arm of the School of Architecture, located in The Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City. City Building Lab foregrounds common threads connecting the research interests of affiliated faculty members though explorations of the ways that cities have been, are, and continue to be shaped over time. The lab simultaneously encompasses a wide set of initiatives while also supporting the University’s urban research mission.
City Building Lab serves both as a clearing house for ideas and tests theories of equity and social justice through action-based research venue. CBL continues to support the missions of the School of Architecture and the College of Arts + Architecture through its emphasis on sustainable urban, community, and architectural design and through its focus on “local-to-global” urbanism. Faculty and students engage with communities, particularly those most often overlooked in design and community planning processes, to realize built environments that use design tools to embody the knowledge, values, and aspirations of local people. Processes are open-ended, modeling design practice as systems-oriented and multi-scalar. It connects environmental issues with social networks and economic empowerment to create a resilient and inclusive future.