Upcoming Urban Design Center Education Forums

The Raleigh Urban Design Center has a new schedule of urban-related lecture forums and they stick with the theme of, “Raleigh 2025 – What’s Downtown Got To Do With It?” Last season, there were some pretty good ones related to bike sharing, downtown living, and open space. Here are some that you can watch again.

Lecture Forums

Urban Design Center
220 Fayetteville Street
12 Noon – 1:30 pm

While adding these events to my calendar, I decided to tweak them so I could share them with readers. Here are the XML, iCal, and HTML links for sharing. Hopefully they work with your personal calendars.

The events are all free and take place during weekday lunch hours. Go over to the city’s website to see all the topics but here are a select few that really focus on downtown Raleigh.

The Great American Downtown – 2025
October 23, 2013
Mitchell J. Silver, Chief Planning & Development Officer and Planning Director, City of Raleigh

  • What is the experience of place in great cities of the future?
  • How can Raleigh make it happen?
  • Who will be living in Raleigh in 2025?

Jobs + Talent 2025
December 4, 2013
James Sauls, Director, Economic Development, and Derrick Minor, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Manager, City of Raleigh, Economic Development Department

  • What types of industries are we trying to grow locally and recruit nationally?
  • How important is talent recruitment and retention to a community?
  • How do you establish a culture of innovation and creativity?

Back to the Future in Raleigh
February 12, 2014
Eric Lamb, PE, Transportation Planning Manager, City of Raleigh

  • How will people move in the City of Tomorrow?
  • How will the evolution of technology change the way we need to travel?
  • Are there places around the world today where we can glimpse the future?

Population Growth, Sustainability, and the Need for Urban Greenspace
April 23, 2014
Danesha Seth Carley, PhD., Assistant Professor, Department of Crop Science, NC State University

  • Is there a place for “green space” in the city of the future?
  • How can we increase and protect our green space and what value does that bring to our community?
  • How will the city be feeding itself in an era of diminishing resources and increasing carbon footprint?

Downtown: An Engine for Wake County’s Tourism Strategy
May 21, 2014
David Diaz, CEO, Downtown Raleigh Alliance, and Julie Brakenbury, Director of Services, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau

  • What is the role of a downtown in attracting visitors?
  • What are downtown Raleigh’s key strengths challenges as a center for tourism?
  • How does the visitor bureau quantify the economic impact of downtown Raleigh’s tourism assets?

Downtown Raleigh Lecture Videos For Erasing Any Holiday Boredom

Bored over the holidays? Here’s a video that should get all Downtown Raleigh fans excited. It’s part of the Urban Design Center’s education forums titled, “Raleigh’s Identity -What’s Downtown Got to Do With It?”

This is the first video of eight planned lectures. It’s very interesting to see the different downtown plans, with some going as far back as the 1950s.


Planning Raleigh 2030

The City of Raleigh has launched a new website, www.planningraleigh2030.com. Since news is slow I wanted to highlight this link and let you browse the many documents to see if you can find anything interesting. According to the timeline we should have an adopted plan approved sometime around May 2009. Here are a couple of interesting points I noticed after maybe five minutes of browsing:

  • “Raleigh is nationally recognized as a model green city”. I do not at all agree with this statement. Yes, we are heading in the right direction but far from being the model that other cities should look upon. I’m a big supporter of the LED replacement initiative taking place across the city. This may be an act to follow, but the city as a whole, still has some work to do.
  • Looking at the growth maps across Raleigh, it seems that the fringes of the city are the areas where the most growth is occurring. I believe this trend needs to slow down and annexing more land and connecting the cities with more highways is the wrong way to approach things. We do not need to consume more, but create efficiency with what we already have.
  • Raleigh’s population as of July 1, 2007 was 367,995.
  • The central district population has 20,664 people, the 3rd lowest district in Raleigh, after The Umstead and East districts.
  • We are hovering between 3.3% and 4.1% annual growth over the last 3 years.

Of course, the stats may not really show anything. The planning districts are not the same size and those in north Raleigh are significantly larger then the ones downtown and around NC State. But should that matter since a city’s downtown is generally the densest area?

What I’m really interested in is a map with job density and traffic patterns around the city. That could really help us see where the upgrades to our transit system should go.