Just as experts encourage businesses to develop plans for future growth in a changing environment, the same recommendation is made for communities who want strong economic development. With that in mind, the Raleigh City Council unanimously passed on Oct. 7 the Raleigh 2030 Comprehensive Plan, crafted after two years by the city’s planning department along with hundreds of residents who contributed their input into envisioning the way they want to see the state capital city appear in 20 years.
The plan addresses all aspects of Raleigh’s quality of life, emphasizing neighborhood preservation, a strong economy, ample parks and recreation, improved mobility for all modes of transportation, and the protection of the City and region's natural resources and environmental quality. Sustainability is the cornerstone of its vision for the future, which focuses on the interdependent relationships of environmental stewardship, economic strength, and social integrity.
In terms of economic development, the plan includes as three co-equal goals the attraction of new business, retention and expansion of existing business, and creation of conditions for productive investment in areas of the city that have suffered from disinvestment or a lack of investment. It will use incentives to promote mixed-use zoning development, encourage niche office space development, and expand and enhance creative industries. It also identified 18 areas that demonstrate a need for economic development intervention and that also present opportunities for economic development.
The plan takes effect on Nov. 1 and can be viewed here. We urge you to take a little time and read it over. Its goals are bold, but if they are properly implemented and achieved, Raleigh will be a model for economic competitiveness that other cities will envy. Because of its prominence, that will be good news for the economic future of Wake County as well.