Basketball. Imagine a giant orange orb rising out of the center of RTP…wait that idea may have been taken temporarily by Washington DC.
Valid point with the universities and education system. This is why Raleigh-Durham appears on so many top lists.
Pipeline of talent is big but bigger is where that talent ends up wanting to live. Amazon by far has been hiring the most people straight out of Duke, UNC and ships them to Seattle.
Besides pipeline of talent, low taxes, a growing amount of jobs, last thing to the puzzle is the pull for young people to move here.
Some examples with education yet not booming:
New Haven Yale, Princeton and Cornell Ithaca or maybe a better example the “Knowledge Corridor” Springfield-Hartford with an impressive amount of higher education yet not booming.
Perfect example of a unique experience would be something like the Village Subway. Really excited to see that come back but wish they weren’t taking the “jazz” angle.
“The most above-average city in America”
a common response I get when travelling is “Raleigh? Never been but I know someone who lives there and loves it.”
6 posts were split to a new topic: City of Raleigh Flag
We figured out how to do a better job of keeping talent here 60+ years ago when people started talking about establishing a Research Triangle Park. The same universities were here then, but back in the 50’s NC ranked 49th in per capita income and we needed to try something different to change that. RTP worked and ended up becoming a big part of the area’s identity.
But I think we’re at a similar point now where need to try something different. Things have changed in 60 years and the talent produced here is not so inclined to stay for jobs at a sprawling, car-centric campus that’s many miles from any of the downtown cores in the area.
In terms of creating identity, I agree with @Spero that it needs to be bottom-up and should happen organically. That said, I think local government has a role in establishing a framework/environment that attracts creative types and then gets out of the way, or at least gives them room to grow.
This is sort of the model that made IBMA so successful here. The city invested in an urban entertainment campus (if you will) and then got out of the way to let a creative type (William Lewis) run with his vision of what the event could look like here and the kind of experiences it could offer.
Things that work seem obvious in hindsight but there were many doubters of both RTP and IBMA in Raleigh. You want to build R&D facilities that aren’t near manufacturing? That’s crazy. You want to have a free street festival and ticketed events at IBMA? It’ll never work.
Unfortunately, Raleigh isn’t currently signaling that we’re open to trying new things. We’re afraid of ADUs, we think scooters are out of control, and don’t mind affordable housing as long as it doesn’t encroach on our single-family zoning.
A city that is willing to try something new: Minneapolis.
I’m catching up on my dtraleigh reading today. I’m enjoying this conversation.
As our city centers expand I see the ‘cool factor’ growing in Raleigh and North Carolina. This is directly related to the culture of a place which can either be ignored or supported. Southern cities may face the extra task of balancing any cool factor against our southern charm.
I think the ‘cool factor’ is also related to how a city resides in the public consciousness – sports teams, festivals, museums, visual and performance art, transit expansions, tv shows, media, etc. Fortunately, this consciousness can be affected by something relatively small or several things working together.
With any of our great ideas, we definitely need visibility and synergy.
Another great article on Raleigh ! Thanks !
The thing/event that really stands out (to me) was when Raleigh hosted the NHL All Star game back in 2011(??). I have never been to a hockey game, and have no real desire to do so. But the atmosphere downtown with banners on the sides of the buildings, and all of the events associated with this made me say to myself… “Raleigh is FINALLY on the map and in the spotlight!” (Of course a DT hockey arena would have made this even better )
I had the same thought when we hosted part of the NCAA tournament for several years, but alas… our hockey team sucks and HB2 (temporarily) ousted the NCAA tournament for other venues.
I think our history/reputation is to do something well, then to self-sabotage and run it into the ground. “There they go again… bless their hearts” I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry.
When it comes to city government’s role in making or breaking innovative ideas, I agree. Raleigh (and, really, everyone in America on average?) has a bad habit of either shooting good ideas down from the start (see: electronic navigation signs) or death by suffocation with promotions (like the MLS stadium).
City council like to take in sexy things like art festivals and food halls -but let’s be honest, it also wants to both have its cake and eat it too (e.g. not having conversations about gentrification). That’s not responsible. If cities want to grow, it needs to be better than that.
However, I don’t think we can just say growth will “organically happen” out of the blue like IBMA, RTP, and Minneapolis’ ADUs. If you meant “organic” as in “without an explicit city initiative”, then yeah I agree… but if you meant “organic” as in “it’ll just pop up out of nowhere without anyone having to do anything”, I don’t think so.
All three of those initiatives had:
- well-defined, well-understood, and specific problems;
- the talent to come up with a good solution, and;
- the infrastructure and manpower to pull it off.
The Triangle’s schools checks the second bullet point, and getting a more competent/restrained/self-aware local government addresses the third step.
But if we’re going to do something that matters (like RTP did 60 years ago), shouldn’t we tackle the 1st step?
Yesterday I was on the RLine with 2 other adults. An automated message came on to tell us that swearing is not allowed on the RLine. I just rolled my eyes. I mean, seriously, is this a Disney World bus or something?
Raleigh bends over backwards to make the city attractive to families, but it needs to figure out how to make it attractive to everyone. Again, seriously? Is swearing on the RLine such a big problem that there’s an automated message? Now, I am no young Millennial and I found the announcement ridiculous. I can only imagine how the young creatives that we are trying to bring to the city for our economic future think of having their “grandparents” setting the culture with these puritanical messages? It’s as if having a “potty mouth” is the problem we need to resolve in our society. It’s tone deaf.
IMO, the city would be better served with a recorded message about inclusiveness, mutual respect, and kindness instead of worrying that someone might say shit.
Keita, I’m too old to think that growth, identity, and experiences are just going to pop out of nowhere without anyone having to do anything.
City government clearly has a significant role in all this, but what I’m saying is you can’t legislate authenticity. Council can’t decide, “we’re going to be known as the City of X,Y,Z” and expect that to stick. Saying it doesn’t make it so.
Failing to land the Army, Amazon, and Apple helps us start thinking about the first step you mention. Figuring out what went wrong and what we’re going to do about it.
Just not sure we’re going to make real progress on doing something that matters until council stops being so risk averse. Then again, I’m not in their shoes. Maybe taking risks is political suicide.
Lol John I feel you. As a millennial in Raleigh, I often wish we were growing more in line with the way Durham is growing; not the built environment but the attitude. The only thing local government needs to do to allow a thriving cultural scene to emerge is get out of the way and quit ruling Raleigh as if it is Disney world full of cranky older folks complaining about changing times. For God’s sake, can we actually do something cool as a city council???
You clearly can’t legislate authenticity, but you sure can kill it with the wrong legislation.
Running for city council is probably a good start. Or another way would be to pack city council meetings with like minded individuals?
Strength in numbers?
On the one hand I am glad that we are not exactly Durham, it’s nice to have options within the same metro. But on the other hand I totally get what you’re saying with the nonsense about ADUs and scooters and such.
The plot thickens!!!
Very interesting! Maybe Apple has something up their sleeve afterall?