This week we met with Elizabeth Alley from the Raleigh Urban Design Center AND Ken Bowers from Raleigh City Planning. We have included some of our conversation with Elizabeth Alley below...
Raleigh Urban Design Center:
We met with Elizabeth Alley of the Urban Design Center and learned about new projects going on in the downtown area:
The neighborhood around the Governor's Mansion with old houses and new developments, Hotels with shops and elevator art, the Convention Center, the train station proposed for the warehouse district, Green Building, a City Plaza, who is the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and what is Raleigh Wide Open.
Elizabeth let us ask questions and voice our opinions. The Urban Design Center often hosts community forums to get feedback from Raleigh's citizens about plans for Raleigh.
Justice: What is the use of the RBC center?
Elizabeth: Shops on ground floor, offices and condos with balconies above
Josh: What type of fuel will the transit trains use?
Josh: Doesn't that pollute?
Elizabeth: Yes to some degree. There has been some talk of eventually converting to biodeisel.
*The group then concluded that they would recommend that the City start off using biodeisel with the trains since the train stations have not yet been built.
Justice: Are we going to bring trolleys back?
Elizabeth: Yes, first engine driven and maybe eventually electric
Students: How do you get businesses that you want downtown, if we want a type of business, what do we do? The kids want more kid-friendly businesses downtown with things to do for teens
Lee: It would be great for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance to help recruit these businesses.
Logan: Does the city build these places or commission them?
Elizabeth: The city makes the rules and the developers build
Erin: Since lots of people are moving here, we need sky scrapers to fit them all in.
Students: We see lots of homeless people in Moore Square..does the city have any plans to help these people?
Elizabeth: There is a plan to end homeless in Raleigh in 10 years, working with prisons and mental facilities and helping during transition.
Josh: Do you think about the wildlife when developing...where will/do they go?
Elizabeth: Raleigh is always looking for new park space
Other ideas proposed by the students:
Kids proposed a public art idea for the building on the corner of Person and Martin Streets that used to be a gas station..to re-use the light fixtures in colored light and paint the building in fun colors with horse murals.