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City Beautiful 21 » Economic Development

Five Great Reasons to Bulldoze the BCBSNC Building In Chapel Hill

Five Great Reasons to Bulldoze the BCBSNC Building In Chapel Hill

Today Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC announced they are consolidating their operations in Durham and vacating their dated, modernist solar-cooker-on-cinder-blocks digs in Chapel Hill, because the building is inflexible, expensive to operate, and bad for workers: Blue Cross officials said the insurer’s distinctive Chapel Hill headquarters – a rhomboid, glass structure designed by the architect A.G. Odell Jr.’s firm – had become more costly to operate than its other buildings and didn’t fit the way … Read entire article »

Filed under: Architecture, Burlington (VT), Cesky Krumlov, Chapel Hill, Density, Economic Development, International Cities and Towns, Piazzas, Plazas, Parks and Squares, Street Design, Vernazza

Please Take a Carrboro Survey

Please Take a Carrboro Survey

The folks who work on economic development for Carrboro are looking to hear what people love about Carrboro in their own words.  Please take the survey at www.letstalkcarrboro.com and let them know what moves you about our town! … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Culture, Economic Development, Surveys

Carrboro Should Require Developer to Unbundle Parking, and Then Approve Shelton Station

Carrboro Should Require Developer to Unbundle Parking, and Then Approve Shelton Station

Over a year ago, I wrote a piece in our wonderful community newspaper emeritus, the Carrboro Citizen, supporting the Shelton Station project which will come before the Board of Aldermen Thursday night. Some key benefits of the project include: The presence of another 125 to 170 residents so close to downtown will boost local business activity, in addition to generating construction jobs in the short term. Shelton Station and the residents of its 96 apartments will create a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Affordable Housing, Carrboro, Economic Development, Parking

A Little More Time and A Little More Communication Could Get Us an Awesome Urban Library that Works for Everyone in Southern Orange County

A Little More Time and A Little More Communication Could Get Us an Awesome Urban Library that Works for Everyone in Southern Orange County

This is going to be a long post, so to make it easier to use, you can either read it all the way through, or use this bullet-point summary with hyperlinks to each portion: Orange County is leading a process to site a library in Southern Orange County within the Town of Carrboro. The Carrboro Board of Aldermen sent three sites for review to the county staff in November 2012, and indicated their interest in a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Economic Development, Libraries, Orange County, Portland, Schools, Walking

Time to Use Car-Sharing and Parking Unbundling to Bring More Stuff People Like and Less Pavement, Traffic and Pollution to Downtown Carrboro

Time to Use Car-Sharing and Parking Unbundling to Bring More Stuff People Like and Less Pavement, Traffic and Pollution to Downtown Carrboro

When it comes to creating vibrant urban neighborhoods in the US, with a few exceptions,  there is always a tension between providing space for people and space for cars. The recent proliferation of car sharing services such as ZipCar and WeCar in the US, and even locally on the UNC campus –  holds promise to address this tension, but we have yet to employ car-sharing to address both community mobility and economic development goals in Carrboro. The … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Economic Development, Parking

The Wrong Place for a Suburban Drugstore

The Wrong Place for a Suburban Drugstore

This is going to be a longer post. But I think it’s worth reading as I’m going to cover a whole bunch of issues that the proposed CVS at the corner of North Greensboro and West Weaver streets raises. The Project Proposal Before the Carrboro Board of Aldermen for their consideration on Tuesday night is a proposal to build a free-standing CVS drugstore at the corner of N Greensboro and Weaver Streets (public Hearing B1 on the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Economic Development, Parking, Real Estate Markets, Urban Indicators

Informal Urbanism Indicator #6: Food Trucks

Informal Urbanism Indicator #6: Food Trucks

Perhaps the most high-profile Informal Urban Indicator that can be spotted around Carrboro, Durham, and many other cities is the Food Truck. Whether committed to a regular spot or broadcasting its movements on Twitter, the repeated presence of one or more food trucks in a certain place is usually hinting at one thing: “this part of town could absorb more dining and perhaps more retail options.” If the place where the repeat appearances … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Culture, Data, Economic Development, Food, Uncategorized, Urban Indicators

Where Are The Jobs in Carrboro? Mostly Downtown.

Where Are The Jobs in Carrboro?  Mostly Downtown.

I find that few things can tell a more effective story about a community than a map. One of my favorite tools to appear over the last few years is the US Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employer-Housing Dynamics (LEHD) On The Map tool. On The Map works by combining Census and American Community Survey data with state and federal data sources on employment to provide insights on where people live and work. Using the tool I ran … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Data, Economic Development

Carrboro: North Carolina’s Market Town?

Carrboro: North Carolina’s Market Town?

Yesterday I talked about Informal Markets — events that are marked by an agreed-upon time and place to sell and buy goods, but may lack features of a permanent retail establishment.  When I think about the things that the town of Carrboro has going for it, our talent for finding room for Informal Markets is near the top of the list.  When I began researching this post, I was not surprised to find that Carrboro … Read entire article »

Filed under: Carrboro, Culture, Economic Development, Featured, Informal Markets

How Cities Capture Informal Markets: Lessons from Poland

How Cities Capture Informal Markets: Lessons from Poland

Why do we have cities and towns? While medieval towns were established for a variety of reasons, including defense or access to key resources such as water or arable land, it is important not to overlook trade. In addition to specialization after the beginning of agriculture, geography and topography brought travelers together in many places. The confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers to form the Ohio River practically guaranteed that there would be a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Economic Development, Informal Markets, Krakow, Piazzas, Plazas, Parks and Squares, Warsaw