Weekend Inspiration with Gil Penalosa and Dix Park

Click here to see the video if you cannot see it above.

I enjoyed this talk given by Gil Penalosa during his visit to our area. He shows us the transformative power of parks in a city and while the topic is geared for Dix Park, the concepts really can apply all over the city.

My sentiment right now is Raleigh has plenty of vision but is lacking on action. Hopefully, you’ll find a little inspiration in the video just as I did.

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  1. One of the more interesting developments to me is the gradual transformation of the Neuse River into a destination. If this comes to pass, if Ralwegians come to value the river that runs through our town as a valuable place to pass the time or to find adventure, it can only mean a greater sense of stewardship for the life blood that runs through Raleigh’s most precious artery.

  2. Ciclovía should be a thing in Raleigh. Dedicated protected bike lanes should be a thing in Raleigh. Many European cities were complete s***holes just 40 years ago and now they’re well regarded cities like Aarhus and Rotterdam because of good urban planning. We need to press Raleigh officials and developers to incorporate these elements on the streets. People from Cary to Garner to all the way in Durham should want to take the future heavy rail train to Union Station and walk or bike to activities.

    There should be a citizen-run Smart Urban Planning advocacy and education group that does community outreach that shows the benefits of good urban planning. What does Joe Smoe know about bike lanes? Nothing? Why would he support it? He doesn’t bike. If you educate Joe Smoe on the benefits of bike lanes–he still might not bike but he could see why it’s important and see how it’s beneficial to the quality of life to him and everyone else.

  3. Imho, a lot of vision…
    I personally see the same idea in Raleigh’s green-way trails. I just wish we could open the Pigion trail up and make it wider as it could help transform downtown as well. Imho…

  4. Regarding Dix, getting bold with entrances from downtown is going to be key. It’s hard to know what to do with Western: leave it a freeway style road for BRT and tunnel/bridge over it or lade it with interchanges to create safe passage for all ages?

    I’m also interested to see what happens with lake wheeler. There no doubt needs to be a better Greenway trail along lake wheeler connecting the residential areas outside 40 with centennial, farmers market, Dix, and DT, but should it follow the road or should it separate from lake wheeler and dive into the farmers market land and meander through Dix park?

    I’ve believe the southern gateway study proposes old saunders to turn into Dix park and create a 4 way intersection at lake wheeler and the existing Dix entrance.

    As Penalosa points out, making these park assets walkable/bikable from residential areas is not frivolous – it’s important to the success of our city

  5. How about Connecting the Southwest area of Raleigh from Dix to Centennial campus and onto State farmers market and Along Lake wheeler road. I believe it would really transform the Area and make it very walkable to any part of the City. Just don’t take Years for it to make it Happen, make it happen….NOW.

  6. ^as a resident of that area, YES! These older 60s and 70s neighborhoods are flipping into younger ownership and there will be huge demand for connectivity between downtown and SW Raleigh soon.

    Merry Christmas all!

  7. Any updates on FNB Tower? Surprised there isn’t more talk about it seeing as though it is supposed to start next month and be our 4th tallest building! And FINALLY our first 300-399ft building. Excited to see a crane out there.

  8. Happy 2018 Everyone.!!! For 2018 lets see Lots of Development in Downtown, from Office/Hotel high rise to Dix Park becoming a reality. I was in Charlotte over the weekend and folks that lived in Raleigh moved to Charlotte had asked, How’s the progress going Upstate ? I paused for a moment and said, things are coming along well,” Still no decent Transit Huh”, another replied, I used to live in Raleigh, Dullsville,not even a Light Rail in that Town, glad I had moved out of Raleigh, Rent prices are through the Roof, it’s way cheaper to live in Charlotte than in Raleigh, so spread out,Raleigh is. OMG…You have to Drive Everywhere to get where you need to go, waste of gas. Well…After hearing that I pretty much keep my opinion to myself. Yes Raleigh is not Charlotte But Raleigh can and will be a whole lot better, way better than Charlotte, I believe that Raleigh and the way the city is headed, we will be the talk of the nation if not already and people will see how Good we have it here. SO let’s not worry what folks in Charlotte say or think….Let’s give them a Run for their Money.

  9. City Gateway the Exploris school is something im wondering about as well. Wasnt the original plan supposed to have had it start last summer? And now i havent heard anything about it since..

  10. I have to laugh at these people who think that the average Charlotte experience is different from Raleigh’s. Like Raleigh, most everyone lives in Suburbia, drives a car and does similar things.
    It’s not like Charlotte is Manhattan with an extensive transit system. They currently have one, count it, light rail line. Now, I applaud them for having it, and I do see that they will have future lines, but they sometimes act like the city is full of these urbanite dwellers without cars. Whatever.
    While I want to see the Triangle continue to pursue a heavy rail system, not a light one, I’m immediately interested in the city continuing down the path of developing its urban communities in its core. A self sustaining community with daily amenities within walking or RLine access says more to me than a community hellbent on ticking the boxes to reach “big city”. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel in DT Raleigh with a lot of these pieces falling into place over the next two years. Retail is the key and the one-two punch of Dillon and Smokey Hollow (sorry…can’t give up on that name)will anchor two ends of a west side urban corridor replete with housing and services within walking distance of the city’s very core. I am especially interested to see what the southern extension of Smokey Hollow brings DT in addition to the grocery store at its north end. My wish list remains the same: A Multiplex Cinema, Specialty chains like Crate&Barrel, A real Target, Nightlife alternatives beyond bars&clubs, and more housing for persistent foot traffic.

  11. I read on Google that Charlotte has 48 downtown buildings that range from 200 feet to 836 feet tall ! 15 to 60 stories ! The last info. that I have heard about FNB Tower is start construction in February !

  12. For the life of me I’ll never understand the silly spitting contest between NC’s biggest cities. Both are crazy suburban, but urbanizing pretty rapidly. Both have an increasing number of cool things to see and do. Neither one compares to “real” cities in either amenities or problems. I generally agree with John’s assessment that the typical experience is about the same. I mean, Uptown is substantially bigger than DT Raleigh, but that’s about the only difference.

  13. ^That, and the face that DTR has much more character than uptown CLT. Walking around uptown is a very different experience than walking down say hargett or Glenwood

  14. The latest FNB Tower proposal mentioned 290 feet. An earlier Charter Square North version mentioned 316 feet.

  15. FNB Tower will be 316 feet according to their filing with the City of Raleigh. They should be prepping the site any day now.

  16. 316 feet is encouraging to hear. The latest video rendering they put out didnt look that tall. Hopefully the 316 is indeed true.

  17. I’m fairly confident that the height will be the aforementioned 290. The height reduction from 316 was stated in 2015. The number has always been 290 since the latest version of the tower was announced. This is also substantiated by the video rendering. The Progress Energy tower (White/Black Tower) is 277 feet tall.

  18. Does anyone remember when we are supposed to see a draft of the SOM plan for the city government complex? I have high hopes for the design, but low expectations that whatever proposed is actually built. But I do hope they will redevelop the old/empty Police Station at the corner of McDowell and Hargett first. I wonder if the design for the Lightner building will come back to life in the SOM plan.

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