Piedmont Triad Sustainable Communities ProjectChoices Opportunities Solutions Jobs, Housing and Transportation First Year Progress Report
Background• 1.6 M from HUD• 3 yr effort• PART & PTRC lead agencies• 37 Consortium Members• Why?
What is the project about?A planning effort to integrate housing, land use,economic and workforce development,transportation, and infrastructure investments in amanner that empowers jurisdictions to consider theinterdependent challenges of…• economic competitiveness and revitalization,• social equity, inclusion and access to opportunity,• energy use and climate adaption, and• public health and environment impact.
Consortium Members • Winston-Salem Urban Area MPO • City-County Planning Board• Town Of Oak Ridge (Winston-Salem/Forsyth County)• North Carolina Department of Transportation • Forsyth Futures• YMCA of Northwest North Carolina • Forsyth County• Center for New North Carolinians • Southwest High Point Renewal Project• Davidson County Planning Department • City of Winston-Salem• North Carolina Department of Environment and • Greensboro Urban Area MPO Natural Resources • City of High Point• Town of Kernersville • Greensboro Housing Coalition• Rockingham County Planning Department • Center for Design Innovation• Housing Authority of Winston-Salem • Town of Pleasant Garden• North Carolina Department of Commerce • Town of Cooleemee• North Carolina Center for Global Logistics • Piedmont Conservation Council• Piedmont Triad Rural Planning Organization • City of Lexington• Northwest Piedmont Rural Planning Organization • Village of Clemmons• Winston-Salem State University • Transition Greensboro• City of Burlington • City of Asheboro• City of Greensboro • Town of Lewisville• Town of Walnut Cove
Strengths and ChallengesTop Five Strengths Top Five Challenges• Education – grades K-12 and • Transportation – both internal to higher education their communities and regionally• Farming and Viticulture • Participating in the “New” Economy – post-manufacturing,• Health Care high tech companies• Scenic and Recreational • Abandoned Mills and Resources Employment Centers – especially• Small Town Charm unused manufacturing plants and strip shopping centers • Capitalizing and Supporting on Existing Business Assets – especially small businesses • Healthy Design – planning and building communities with more transportation options, improved public spaces, and better access to fresh food.
Majors themes• Challenges will require solutions that are regional in nature because they depend on linking transportation and land-use.• Forum participants clearly valued the unique character of their own communities, and cited the importance of retaining small town charm.• Forum participants cited the lack of healthy community design as a significant challenge in the Triad.• While it was the mill-centered, self-sufficiency of the small towns and the three cities that historically defined the Triad, it is their collective connection to a larger network of services and opportunities that will characterize the region’s future.
What have we learned?• Lost more than 150K manufacturing jobs in past 20 years.• Transportation costs exceeding housing costs for many residents.• Few transportation and housing choices in many locations.• Limited access to healthy foods & open space for many residents.• Our Challenges as stated in the Civic Forums: – Lack of transportation options – Living in the new economy – Abandoned job centers – Lack of sidewalks & bike lanes• The new economy is creating jobs but different job skills are required. Economic connections very different from traditional ones. New job centers are spread out. Use of existing manufacturing facilities is limited.• While desired by a growing number of people, the creation of walkable places that include housing, jobs, services and entertainment is not a priority.
Shaping our Future“We are proud of our region’s heritage – working together to create and build things of value. In the past wewere linked together by the crops we grew, our land’s natural resources, and the commodities we producedwith crops and resources through the manufacture of furniture, textiles and tobacco products. These effortsknitted us together as a regional community, connected our cities and towns – providing the means to raise ourfamilies and to proposer. The Piedmont Triad was the economic engine for the state, while Charlotte prosperedas a financial center and Raleigh served as the seat of State government.As a region of mill towns, large and small, we have struggled economically over the past several decades.Hundreds of plant closings and tens of thousands of job losses throughout our region have broken many of theties that bound us together in times of prosperity.We have now undertaken a hopeful process to re-connect and re-envision who we are and what we can becomeas a region. The connections will not be the same. The region is a different place and the challenges different.Please add your voice to the Piedmont Triad’s renaissance. Join in our regional conversation. Help us recapturethe best of our past and present and to build a future of promise and prosperity for our children’s children.”
Raising Awareness and Public EngagementProject Website (triadsustainability.org) 13 Civic ForumsViews: 604 February, 872 March, 928 April 248 people attended across the region, 200+ ideas generatedPiedmont Voice (piedmontvoice.org)136 Participants, 282 Ideas, 61 Comments “Grassroots” Outreach Over 500 contactsFacebook(facebook.com/triadsustainability) Realtor Smart Growth Workshop134 Likes with Forsyth Co. Realtor Assc. 35 persons attendedTwitter (twitter.com/triadsustainability)161 Followers Local Design and Development Plans Asheboro complete, more being plannedEmail List554 Contacts Photo contest 57 photos submitted by 23 photographers Numerous civic and community presentations reaching 600 person
Local Design & Development PlansThe Asheboro ExperienceDay One – The group learned about whatmakes a sustainable community andexplored the Strengths and Weaknesses ofAsheboro’s downtown.Day Two – The group focused on threeelements of downtown: being green,accessibility and defining gaps in retail,housing and entertainment.Two ideas stood out from the design anddevelopment work:1. Adaptive reuse of the Acme-McCrary Plant into retail, offices and downtown housing.2. The potential to create a linear pedestrian stroll way with Memorial Park as its focal point.
Next Six Months• Plan and begin work on 2nd Milestone – Begin Regional Vision and Scenario Modeling effort• Plans and Studies – Comprehensive Economic Development Study – Plugin Electric Vehicle Regional Infrastructure Study – Fair Housing Assessment – Housing Market Analysis – Development Ordinance Review• Raising Awareness – Local Design and Development Plans – Rebranding project – New content on Piedmont Voice – Regional Summit• Administration – Initiate Implementation Work Group