Like most major cities in the United States, the City of Raleigh is facing a housing crisis. The Raleigh metropolitan area is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, causing many home seekers further and further from the core. This accelerates urban sprawl which leads to increased traffic and a multitude of other problems. With Raleigh being a relatively newer “boom town”, the core of the city itself is very spare density wise.
While there are plans for several BRT lines and commuter rail, those items alone can only do so much. The City of Raleigh is also working on text changes to encourage density along the planned frequent transit corridors.
In order to position the city for a sustainable future, it is vital that we ensure there are adequate housing options within the core of the city. By building out Raleigh’s street grid in strategic underused spaces, over 7500 new residential units would be constructed, not including a multitude of already planned developments. These units would vary from mid-rise apartment and condo buildings, to apartment over retail, to single family residential blocks.
Connectivity and Accessibility
The backbone of the plan would first fall onto connectivity. Several new connections would provide ease of access to, from, and around the core of the city. All of which would feature dedicated bike facilitates and greenway connections to ensure accessibility for all users.
Some of the more notable connections, many of which I’ve already wrote full stand-alone plans on would be
- I-87 – New Bern Connector – Read the full stand alone plan here
- Capital Blvd North Superblocks – Read the full stand alone plan here
- South Raleigh Superblocks – Read the full original plan here *Note I have revised greatly since the original post. A full updated post will be released soon
- Midtown Superblocks and Freeway Cap – Read the full stand alone plan here
- Union Station Park – Read the full stand alone plan here
Building the Blocks
Raleigh suffers from a lack of street grid from the moment you leave the commercial core. As a city that didn’t start to grow until sprawl was the way, the inner city neighborhood grids that line most cities isn’t really present.
Identifying the underused areas of the city allowed for the addition of at least 100 new blocks to the city.
Placing the Density
Now that we have our connections and blocks in place how do we determine where we should target single family and mixed use neighborhood nodes vs high density mixed-use.?
To promote as little car dependency as possible, even the medium density single family areas should contain neighborhood parks, greenway connections, and mixed commercial uses. Along the main roadways and transit facilities should be reserved for high density uses.
Some of the planned new neighborhoods:
Medical District – A collection of Apartments, Medical Offices, Condos, Residential, Commercial, Parks, and Light Industrial adjacent to Wake Med.
Walnut Creek – Repurposing the North Carolina Correctional Facility for Women into mixed use residential and commercial.
Stitch Central – View the full stand alone plan here.
While the City of Raleigh is taking steps toward a more dense, vibrant city, we must take further steps and maximize the underused land we have in place. To view the full interactive Google Map, please click any of the map images or click here.
Opinions and insights are my own and are not representative of my employer or any organization.