Downtown Partnership

The difference between a big idea and a big waste of time

When I first learned about the proposed framework for downtown, I was amazed to see such big, new ideas being proposed by the consultant hired by the Town of Chapel Hill and the Downtown Partnership. This proposal presents an opportunity for Chapel Hill to do something visionary and to once again have a thriving urban center that is the envy of other communities. But.

The only way that this Big Idea will evolve into a Good Idea is if Chapel Hill can make this vision our own. Not only that, but I also think this plan might have trouble being approved in Chapel Hill without generating significant community investment in its approach. Or, as I said in June:

Compact, Connected, Anchored and Green

Draft Downtown Development Framework and Action Plan A few weeks ago I attended a meeting to hear the presentation of a group of consultants that have been working for the Town of Chapel Hill and the Downtown Partnership to create a "Downtown Development Framework and Action Plan." I didn't know much about this plan before showing up at the meeting, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it includes some pretty radical ideas for downtown Chapel Hill and they do not include trying to emulate Southpoint Mall!

The draft plan can be downloaded as a PDF from the town web site.  Here's my brief analysis...

Downtown Design Charette

I love how these things are always in the middle of the day!  As long as they're convenient for Pat Evans, I guess they're considered open to the public.  Anyway, I do hope to go after work (but will have babe in tow, so no promises).

WHERE: The Design Charette for the Downtown Development Framework and Action Plan will be held in the Great Room at Top of the Hill Restaurant, 100 E. Franklin St. (Enter from Franklin Street next to Walgreen's).

WHEN: There will be four discussion areas from 2 to 7 p.m. focusing on Urban Design, Infrastructure, Markets/Economic Development, and Catch All. There will also be presentations at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. for those wanting to hear the concepts in whole.

WHO CAN GO: You. The charette, or community planning discussion, is open to property owners, business owners, residents and everyone interested in downtown's future. 


See also: 


Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 10:00am to 3:00pm


Great Room at Top of the Hill Restaurant, 100 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill

Locally Grown: concert


Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 3:00pm


Wallace Plaza, downtown Chapel Hill

Locally Grown: Fantastic Mr. Fox screening

Starts at "sundown." 


Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 4:00pm


Wallace Plaza, downtown Chapel Hill



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