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AmericanUrbanDesigner

North Carolina in 2005

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I preface the following with an understanding that there are many obstacles yet to overcome...please, take what I write in the spirit in which it is intended.

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You know urban-loving NC folks....we have a lot to be happy about in North Carolina these days. We have (at least) eight leading cities that are building great urban cores: Wilmington, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Winston, Charlotte, and Asheville (a remarkable number of cities...and a remarkably diverse number of cities, compared to most other states).

Coupled with the great growth and improvements of our cities, can we expect that, as a state, we will spend as much effort protecting our "significant" natural regions (coastal, piedmont, and mountains) to compliment our rapidly emerging urban cores and that historic, but smaller cities, like Oxford, New Bern, Hendersonville, High Point, Salisbury, Concord, etc., will retain their unique character and prosper? Should we be demanding that the limits of urban and rural NC be protected as a way maintain and enhance what is arguably one of NC's most appealing qualities?

Regardless of this and others may be loathed to admit it, I would arge that with the great expansion and maturation of its cities and the timeless value of its natural recreational resources - North Carolina is rapidly becoming recognized as one of this country's most exciting places to live and visit.

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Thoughts?

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I am excited to see this maturation although I am on the westside. These forums help me stay in touch. I am all for growth but the right kind of growth. NC has an opportunity to get it right. My wish would be that the cities you named above shy away from sprawling subdivisions and densify. Of course I do realize homeowners wish to have a yard and a non-urban life but at what cost do we placate them. My last thought is NCDOT is going crazy with the freeway construction that has no real direction. Sure the perception is that a city is not a city unless it has a beltline, loop or perimeter. But these projects just continue to suck people out to the fringes of these cities in massive housong development causing more trouble than the residents care to admit. My dream would be (probably) Asheville will get things right and achieve a balance. All of this hinges on how much more Carolinians continue with a progressive atitude.

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I am excited to see this maturation although I am on the westside. These forums help me stay in touch. I am all for growth but the right kind of growth. NC has an opportunity to get it right. My wish would be that the cities you named above shy away from sprawling subdivisions and densify. Of course I do realize homeowners wish to have a yard and a non-urban life but at what cost do we placate them. My last thought is NCDOT is going crazy with the freeway construction that has no real direction. Sure the perception is that a city is not a city unless it has a beltline, loop or perimeter. But these projects just continue to suck people out to the fringes of these cities in massive housong development causing more trouble than the residents care to admit. My dream would be (probably) Asheville will get things right and achieve a balance. All of this hinges on how much more Carolinians continue with a progressive atitude.

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I believe that if NC can distance itself from the conservatism of surrounding states (VA and GA in particular) I agree with you.

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