Local News

Legos used to build regional growth plans

Posted February 24, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Hundreds of business, environmental and community leaders from across North Carolina gathered downtown Tuesday to envision how the Triangle should look in 2030.

Thirty tables of 10 participants each used Legos to help plan development as part of Reality Check 2009.

Reality Check with Legos Planning for growth block by block

"The Legos are used as a representation of new homes (and) new jobs. Yarn is used as (representing) transportation systems," said  Fred Day, a former chief executive of Progress Energy Inc. and co-chairman of Reality Check. "It is a game, but you will see it's a very serious game. It's about creating a vision for this region for the next 20 or 30 years."

Organizers say more than 1.1 million people will move to the Triangle in the next two decades, putting more stress on area resources and infrastructure. Long-range planning is the best way to cope with that expansion, they said.

"The (economic) dislocation that we're going through today causes people to be more reflective," said Rick Weddle, president of Research Triangle Foundation and co-chair of Reality Check. "How did we get into this (growth) mess? Well, how do we get out of it. The decisions we make today are the decisions that we'll be defining the next several decades of growth in this region."

Reality Check will host a Friday morning meeting to review the planning efforts by each group and to devise and prioritize strategies for handling growth.

Watch the Friday morning meeting LIVE on WRAL.com, beginning at 8:30 a.m.


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  • this is fdup Feb 24, 2009

    I'll bet the same number of five year olds could make a plan that is closer than this group take a picture of this group and the five year olds and in 20 years lets see what was better my money is on the five year olds!(not saying these people are dumb just that the world is as unpredicable as a five year old)

  • Adelinthe Feb 24, 2009


    They couldn't find SimCity or a Monopoly game???

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • sprice7 Feb 24, 2009

    Not to be pedantic, but proper usage is "Lego toys" or "Lego bricks", not Legos.

  • dogman1973 Feb 24, 2009

    And we wonder why we are in the mess that we are in now....we have these "leaders" playing with toys!

  • helpme Feb 24, 2009

    and when the Lego store opens in the Crabtree Valley Mall later this year we will be able to go and pick out our own colors : )

  • Durham-Raleigh Feb 24, 2009

    I had a chance to participate; it was a fascinating morning, and a fascinating group, filled with corporate executives, development professionals, citizens, public sector representatives, university leaders, etc.

    And good questions were raised. If we're going to add 1.2+ million new people to the Triangle in the next 25+ years, where are they going to live?

    Are we going to sprawl ourselves out over the Triangle in every direction and build a beltway connecting Burlington to Zebulon? (Yes -- that was actually a suggestion.)

    Or are we going to try to grow in a fashion that leverages density, existing assets like our universities and RTP, and sees us creating real urban centers in the midst of the city?

    (Note that those questions are things I walked away wondering about. Other participants endorsed wholeheartedly adding tens of thousands of new residents and highway/rail lines to serve them in places like Dunn, Clayton, etc.)

  • raleighmom08 Feb 24, 2009

    I vote for building new colorful bridges with legos and stimulus money.

  • Fredrick Bimmell Feb 24, 2009

    ...... and all contracts will be signed in crayon

  • Triumph Feb 24, 2009

    And they simualted the Triangle's light rail system with Brio wooden toy train set?