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lyforde

The 2007 "Designing a 21st Century City" Lecture Series

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I missed the Shoup lecture, and I missed last night with Bruce Katz. Did anyone go? Maybe we can have a running discussion of these talks on this thread.

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I went to the lecture last night and found it very interesting. There was a brief introduction by the Raleigh's City Planning Director Mitch Silver (he talked about Raleigh's booming growth) and American Planning Association's CEO Paul Farmer.

The bulk of the lecture was of course by Bruce Katz who's VP of The Brookings Institution and head its Metro Program. He served as Chief of Staff to Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of HUD. Katz provided a pretty comprehensive look at how the 21st century will be the 'Urban' Age because of all the globalization that took place in the late 20th century. Such factors in the U.S. that will contirubute to urbanization include such as the rise in immigration, the aging of the population, young professionals, the glorification of city living in pop culture, and others.

He said countries who want to stay competitive in this age of globalization need to focus on their cities and how competitive they are or will become. Here's a quote from handout given out from a previous lecture:

"The design of the built environment, the distribution of urban density, and their impacts on social inclusion and the quality of life, are at the forefront of political discussion in towns and cities across the globe."

He cited facts and figures of how cities are generally more efficient, and how poverty rates declined and homeownership increased with increased urbanization.

Specifically to Raleigh he praised the reopening of Fayetteville St. as a great investment by the city. He says such investments should become the norm rather than few and far between. He also said mass transit systems are a necessity and not a luxury, and that in this 'Urban' Age, cities without one will not be competitive for very long.

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Hey fellas, I moved the topic back to this existing one...

I went and it was great. Silver said next year Raleigh will become a top 50 US city in population (passing Minneapolis), though acknowledged, most has been sprawl. He did say there were lots of good opportunities to deal with growth with the new comp plan redo in Raleigh. (Of course, councilors need to follow it too.) He said we don't want to become Atlanta and have all the burb towns plan on their own. He said they were engaged with neighboring towns such that plans would be complementary, and I presume, connective.

I thought Bruce Katz gave some great info. It wasn't just a planning lecture, but economic development, schools, affordable housing, transit, market trends, energy policy, etc--very comprehensive and informative of what is actually going on around the US right now.

Transitman, I'm quite sure you would have really enjoyed it. Katz mentioned how skewed and out-of-date our laws are (energy policy is terrible) at the federal level towards transit and affordable housing, etc, and taked about how that affects our metro landscapes. Areas get plenty of dollars for roads, but almost none for transit, while most American cities are entering a period of urbanization and have tremendous infrastructre needs to remain competitive. Katz said it is absolutely imperative for an urban metro to have a transit system. If not, the area will become a "flash in the pan" and not remain competetive with other US and, yes, foreign cities.

Katz said we have taken a step back in many key areas at the federal level in recent years, but that he was somewhat positive that the '08 election could yield some big, and much needed, changes in US policies (whether Dem or Rep).

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I enjoyed the discussion and liked what Katz was saying regarding growing a metropolis to compete with the global workplace and workforce. However, I would say, I wish Katz would have discussed the trends and what not from a Raleigh-Durham perspective. It seemed that he wasn't as aware of the general issues concerning our area.

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Thanks for the excellent recaps. It sounds like I missed a great event. To think of Raleigh surpassing Minneapolis in population is mind-blowing.

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Thanks for the excellent recaps. It sounds like I missed a great event. To think of Raleigh surpassing Minneapolis in population is mind-blowing.

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The next lecture in the series, "Transit-Oriented Development: How Do We Get There from Here?" will be held on May 10th at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Dr. Robert Cervero and Dr. Reid Ewing will discuss transit's crucial role in healthy living, the environment, and our region's future. Lectures are free and open to the public. For more info and to register, visit www.raleighnc.gov/lectureseries.

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FYI, the lecture is this Thursday. I'll be there. RSVP if anyone wants to get together. I think JDC said he was registered.

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Last time they had Carrabba's food and drinks at the event :thumbsup: .

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From the News & Observer Weekly Calendar if anyone is interested in attending:

* "Public Realm: How Do We Create a Pedestrian-Friendly City?" A lecture presented by the Raleigh Department of City Planning, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Kennedy Theatre, Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Free. Information: 807-8480 or send e-mail to [email protected]

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I went to this and it was excellent. I was particularly impressed by Silver's assistant planning director who is obviously a very smart guy. The Traffic engineer guy also gave a pretty compelling presentation that pretty definitively proved that suburban sprawl type of development patterns (no interconnection of neighborhoods) gives rise to traffic problems that cannot be cured by simply widening major throroughfares. I hope they post the slides on the internet...

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Thanks, Jeff. I really wanted to go to that lecture. If anyone sees that it will be on public access TV, will you post a heads up for us?

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From an email:

The next lecture in the Designing a 21st Century City Lecture Series is Tuesday, November 6, 7:00

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