Big Ideas

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The Big Idea initiatives embody the essence of the Chapel Hill 2020 goals and will serve as beacons to guide the efforts of the Town and the community as Chapel Hill’s future is created. Town staff members reviewed the specific recommendations and aspirations included in the plan, and outlined what success will look like.


Bikeable, Walkable Connected Communities

VISION: Creating a community supported blueprint for a safe, connected, and enjoyable bicycling future. The Chapel Hill Bike Plan will be a community blueprint for the 21st century bicycling future; ensuring that safe, connected, and enjoyable choices are accessible for all.

Outcomes of Success:

  • A plan is adopted that meets NCDOT guidelines and the objectives of the 2020 Plan.
  • The role of the bicycle as part of the Town’s transportation network is clearly defined.
  • New community connections are made that lead to sustained & well organized advocacy for the bike plan, more people riding, and infrastructure enhancement.
  • There is a good understanding of the choices and challenges that both cyclists and those beginning to consider riding a bike experience in Chapel Hill.  


Rosemary Street Corridor/Enterprise Hub

VISION: Rosemary is a vivacious district that is an extension of Franklin Street; a hub of creativity, employment and adds to the strength of the district.

Outcomes of Success:

  • Create an advisory group that reflects the make-up of the district. (Business owners/managers, community activists, neighborhood owners, police rep., Jackson Center, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and others.)
  • Have each advisory member to host small listening sessions covering small areas of the district and its adjacent neighbors. Ask about the future of their community and the adjacent neighborhood.
  • Create a framework from the input received.
  • Draft a work plan to achieve a vision based on the input.


Multiple Entertainment/Dining/Arts Hubs

VISION: Through the development of an Arts & Entertainment district, downtown Chapel Hill Carrboro will be a hub of creative activity where people want to dine, play, shop, visit and live.

Outcomes of Success:

  • Key stakeholders (Artists, creative sector organizations, Businesses, UNC, developers,  area boosters (CHVB, Chamber, Partnership, etc.) and joint municipalities come together to develop an arts and entertainment strategy for the economic well-being of the area
  • A named district that links Franklin St, Rosemary St., Main St. and UNC campus and is created, programmed, and marketed to create a destination for residents and visitors alike (audience development through street energy).
  • The district is identified through creative orientation signage as well as mobile apps to direct people to and around the district.
  • Live/work opportunities for the creative sector are developed within the district
  • Public art occurs throughout the district
  • Financial support for the district is shared by the stakeholders into the future


Workforce, Student & Affordable Housing

VISION: To create a community with a variety of housing options to promote socio-economic diversity and provide individuals the ability to live in Chapel Hill through different stages in their lives.

Outcomes of Success:

  • Research and quantify the number, type and location of housing units needed and desired by the community
    • Revise the Affordable Housing Strategy to incorporate this data
  • Pursue creative partnerships on a local and regional level to create affordable housing opportunities
  • Streamline the development review process to reduce the cost of development
  • Support/encourage a variety of housing options, especially affordable rental housing


Community and Neighborhood Engagement

VISION: To create a local government that is human, humble and honest, one that listens, responds and assists the public in achieving their dreams (and needs, issues and concerns) through participation and partnership.

Outcomes of Success:

  • Enhanced communications system between the Town and the public
  • System to identify issues and complaints that residents are most concerned about, and to respond
  • Community and neighborhoods engaged in meaningful dialogue and collaborative problem solving.
  • Our residents feel they have influence and access. “My voice matters here.”
  • Community knows about accomplishments of the Town
  • New partnerships and connections established within the community
  • Employees trained on affirmative strategies that communicate our openness and welcoming of all people
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