One Curious Guy
All those miles of roads being built to forestall traffic jams? Raleigh is building them. Those strip shopping centers filled with big box retailers that function for a decade or so and then wither and die, replaced 5 miles farther out with the same center, only newer? That's Raleigh. New development going up without a clear sense of who's going to pay for the sewers, the roads, the schools--and whether there will be, say, enough water for the new folks to drink?
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Welcome to Raleigh. It's hard to say exactly what Raleigh's got, but it's got something. Call that something quality of life, but don't try to define it.
It might mean public schools where most kids aren't flashing gang signs, at least not yet; it might mean plenty of nice ball fields and museums; it might mean free parking, and plenty of it. At any rate, in recent years Raleigh along with the entire Research Triangle area has often been declared the best place to live in the United States: For instance, Money magazine ranked it number one in and cable network MSNBC said the same thing in The Wake County Web site provides a long list of such accolades.
Virtually every list of best places to live, to work, to start a business, to find a mate, to be young, to retire, to use technology, to buy real estate--they all include Raleigh. US News and World Report even rated its airport among the 10 least miserable. So people come.
A sleepy southern state capital founded in whose population didn't reach , until the mids, Raleigh thereafter profited from the regional Research Triangle Park science and technology business campus, which has created 40, jobs over the last 50 years. Raleigh exploded in growth: Its population now approaches , In the Raleigh metropolitan area was the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country, its population growing by 4.
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Wake County, Raleigh's home, is the second-fastest-growing county, by percentage, in the nation--it added almost 40, citizens in , a growth rate of 4. Percentages aside, by numbers alone Wake was still the country's seventh-fastest-growing county. With more than 15, of those new residents in , Raleigh itself was the country's 13th-fastest-growing city.
What's been happening in America over the last half-century is Raleigh. And it's not just people: A mid tangle of wires and roads and pipes and cables, Raleigh is not so much growing as metastasizing, flinging asphalt and aluminum in every direction like something from a science-fiction movie. Even if we don't notice it, that support structure--infrastructure--is everywhere and affects everything we do.
Since , Raleigh has grown in population by a factor of six, and through annexation it has grown in size from 11 square miles to How many miles of new sewer pipe has Raleigh planted?
ISBN 13: 9781611290615
How many miles of road have Raleigh and the state transportation department laid? How many cherry pickers have rumbled down how many streets to string how many miles of cable? And where have I been while all this has happened? Well, I've been in Raleigh, where I live--happily enough, mind you--and I've been watching this mind-spinning expansion since And surely, the questions Raleigh and places like it raise for planners are vital: Whither public transportation?
A School District in Crisis - Landgrid
What of downtown? Huler visits power plants, watches new asphalt pavement being laid, and traces a drop of water backward from the faucet to the Gulf of Mexico. He reaches out to guides along the way, both the workers who operate these systems and the people who plan them. On the Grid brings infrastructure to life and details the ins and outs of our civilization with fascinating, back-to-basics information about the systems we all depend on. The Pig and the Crab.
What a River Would Do. The Asphalt Ballet. The Big Ravioli.
Annihilating Both Time and Space. The Virtue of Necessity. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife, the writer June Spence; they have a son and another child on the way.