Business accelerators: good. Regionally integrated transit: good.
Homes selling for 800,000 dollars: perhaps not.
Earlier this week, nearly 100 local leaders traveled to Boulder, Colorado, for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce’s biennial Inter-City Visit. Every other year, the Chamber leads a visit to a town much like ours: visitors tour the city, meet with local leaders, and learn how other communities have tackled their problems – many of which are the same problems we face in Orange County.
Situated just outside Denver, at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder is home of the University of Colorado. Town leaders there pride themselves on strong business development – focusing not just on incubators but also “accelerators” that help keep startups in town past the ‘incubation’ stage. And they’re also proud of their transit plan, which incorporates driving, busing, biking and walking together as essential components. Less exciting, though, is a rapid spike in housing costs that puts Chapel Hill’s concern about affordability to shame: the median home in Boulder sells for more than $800,000. (Consequently, far more people live outside Boulder and commute into the city to work. In Chapel Hill it’s the other way around.)
What did the Orange County delegation learn from the Boulder visit? WCHL’s Aaron Keck spoke with several people, both during and after the trip.
Listen to Aaron’s conversation with NC AIDS Action Network executive director (and former Chapel Hill Town Council member) Lee Storrow.
Listen to Aaron’s conversation with Carrboro Alderman Bethany Chaney.
Listen to Aaron’s conversation with Aaron Bachenheimer, UNC’s director of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Community Involvement.
Listen to Aaron’s conversation (post-ICV) with Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger.