First Milestone Completed – Check!
There are five milestones connected with this project. The first milestone was also the project’s first regional outreach into the community. The project team held 13 civic forums across the region during the months of January, February and March. The forums had three purposes: inform the public about the project, raise awareness about sustainable issues and validate a set of strengths and challenges for the region. Over 240 persons participated in the forums, but everyone had the opportunity to participate through Piedmont Voice. PiedmontVoice.org is an on-line tool that allows everyone to see and participate in theconversation. The regional strengths and challenges identified at each of the civic forums are posted on Piedmont Voice. Following the civic forums, the project team and project work group members reviewed the results and discussed how they will shape the next 6 to 12 months on the project. From that discussion, the results of the civic forums and an analysis of the feedback were consolidated into a report entitled Strengths and Challenges in the Piedmont Triad.
Living in one community and working in another is not a trend, it is a reality. The distances we have to travel for commerce and entertainment are greater. Relying on one mode of transportation needlessly takes money out of our pockets. The new generation of home buyers is seeking a new experience that placemaking and the urban life bring. This lifestyle makes short trips by walking, biking or transit more efficient and economical. But while allowing for housing and jobs to be in closer proximity to each other, we must preserve our freedom to live where we choose. Benefiting from “small town charm” while drawing upon the economic opportunities of the “big city” is a new connection for our region. But it does come at a cost.
Reconnecting the region through a more thoughtful approach of where jobs are located, expanding our housing choices and creating a multimodal transportation infrastructure is key to the region’s prosperity. Understanding and rebuilding connections in our region is what this project is all about.
For a summary of the data collected and progress to date check out the slide show below.