Group helps plan Triangle growth

February 24, 2009 7:12:57 PM PST
Participants from various areas of government, business and non-profit organizations were among 300 people selected to participate in Reality Check.Reality Check is an initiative to address the growth in the Triangle region.

With two million people currently living in the area, things could get complicated as 1.2 million more people are expected to relocate here.

The challenge at Tuesday's meeting was to come up with the best way to handle that growth.

The Raleigh Convention Center Ballroom looked more like a child's play room than a meeting of the minds.

But organizers say it's not all fun and games.

Even though games are being used, the exercise is about real life, "It's a game, but it's a serious game," said Fred Day, co-chair Reality Check. "We use Legos and yarn to make it a game, make it fun."

In preparation for area growth, the group tries to figure out how everything will come together.

"Where are all those people going to live [and] work and how are they going to get around in the region?" Day asked. "That's their problem they've got to solve."

Participants created models of possible scenarios using green yarn to represent green space, orange yarn for transit, red Logos for jobs and yellow Legos for residents.

They are using the yarn on the table. Green yarn represents green space, the orange yarn for transit, they'll also use the red Legos for jobs and the yellow ones for residents."

With a map of the region on the table, each group decided governing principles and where transit is needed, along with where people will most likely live.

Rick Hester, a Johnston County Manager said, "We are a part of the region and we want to be at the table as we all talk about the future because it effects all of us."

The items will be calculated at a later date and imputed into a module to be shared with legislators who can use the information to reflect future decisions in the Triangle area.

For more information about Reality Check and participating organizations, click here.


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