CPEX aims to show B.R. how much it can profit from proper planning
In 2005, Raleigh, N.C., invested $10 million in redeveloping its downtown area. The plan wasn't popular, and urban planners had a hard time getting taxpayers to understand the wisdom behind it. "No one thought investing in downtown was worth it," says Mitchell Silver, the city's chief planning and development officer. "Downtown Raleigh was not a place that anybody wanted to live or shop." Just seven years later, that $10 million investment has resulted in more than $2.5 billion in private investment, with shops, restaurants and—this is the most important one, according to Silver—thousands of new multifamily units lining Fayetteville Street in Raleigh and the surrounding neighborhood. "It was such a success, now we are replicating that same model all over the city," says Silver, who also serves as president of the American Planning Association. "There is a direct connection between planning and economic development." Silver will be bringing that message to Baton Rouge at the Center for Planning Excellence's 2012 Smart Growth Summit, which will be held Monday through Wednesday. CPEX officials say it's a message the local community needs to hear and take to heart. "Data is out there to show how a small amount of public investment and a successful plan will lead to long-term, sustained private investment," says CPEX Director Elizabeth "Boo" Thomas. Get the full details on all the Smart Growth Summit speakers and events, as well as registration info, here; and read the complete Business Report story by Editor Stephanie Riegel on the economic impact of planning here.
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