Planning Raleigh Events

There are two events Wednesday night related to urban revitalization and transportation choices. The first, organized by the Sierra Club, is a showing of the movie “Sprawling from Grace: Driven to Madness” at Colony Theatre from 7-9pm. The second is the City of Raleigh’s open house for the draft Raleigh 2030 Comprehensive Plan at the new Convention Center also from 7-9pm (registration begins at 6:30pm.)

Since both of these events occur at the same time, I would say the movie showing is better for people you know who are more interested in “why” urban planning is important, while the Comprehensive Plan event is better for people who are more interested in “how” urban planning can be improved in Raleigh specifically.


WED 12/3. 7 – 9pm. Sierra Club sponsored Film Sprawling from Grace: Driven to Madness

Colony Theatre, Six Forks and Millbrook, Raleigh

The film is a documentary feature film about the unintended consequences of suburban sprawl. The suburbs, while being an integral part of our nation’s maturation over the past half-century, contribute substantially to air and water pollution, increasing health risks, and decreasing quality of life. Suburbia has trapped Americans behind the wheels of their automobiles as they commute longer distances to find good paying jobs. Given the inevitable depletion of non-renewable fossil fuels, it’s clear that we will have to find solutions if we want a sustainable future in a post-fossil-fuel world. For more info see and

WED 12/3. 7 – 9pm Raleigh Comprehensive Plan Roll Out and Public Meeting

Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh.(Registration begins at 6:30pm)

You are invited to the official release of Raleigh’s updated draft Comprehensive Plan at the Raleigh Convention Center. The program will include short presentations and an open house. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet and talk with members of the City Council, Planning Commission, city planning staff, and other city boards and commissions. The project consultants also will be in attendance. Summaries of key elements of the updated Comprehensive Plan will be available. Important policy maps from the plan will be on display, including a new land use plan. The draft Comprehensive Plan will be available for review and comment both on-line and at City of Raleigh offices and Wake County public libraries. A special website will allow anyone with an internet connection to comment on every policy and action statement in the plan. ( Comments will also be accepted in any form that citizens may wish to use, from letters to phone calls. The comment period will be open from Dec. 1 through Jan. 31, 2009. For more information and to register to attend, see:

Thanks Steven.

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    None right now. Must be a new project.


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  1. Maybe downtown will get it right the next 20 years (NO MORE LOW RISES – requirement moving forward – 25 stories minimum, let’s see structures with character – local architects are the worst).

    Also, start a “REAL” light rail system NOW! Above ground, not this pathetic idea of a train on the existing tracks. Enough talk, let’s see some action. For those who say it will not be used, move to Kansas. Rider numbers or not, we need a real light rail alternative as of yesterday.

  2. Tony, the problem is that density does not automatically create walkability. One of the other important tenets of smart growth besides density is the degree to which retail, residential, and office uses are mixed, including vertically. If all you get is 20-story high rises that each have only one use, you could end up with a really barren streetscape that is devoid of life and so then what’s the point of living downtown? There is a place for high-rises, but we also need low-rise development that creates a active streetscapes.

    As far as a rail system, assembling contiguous right-of-way is extremely expensive, so using the existing tracks is the only way to go. However, if we go with electrified light rail rather than diesel heavy rail, it might go off the existing tracks and be on-street for a segment of Dawson and McDowell Streets. It won’t be above ground though.

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