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Shaw Student Leaders Assist with Downtown Raleigh Plan

Downtown Plan large

May 1, 2014 – Thirty Shaw University student leaders met with members of the City of Raleigh Downtown Plan Advisory Committee last month to assist the city with creating the next plan for Downtown Raleigh. Held on Shaw’s campus, the meeting gave students an opportunity to voice their opinions about living downtown. Additionally, they shared ideas for improving Raleigh and discussed what would make the city a better place to live as a student.

Scott Cuttler, chair of the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee, Anne S. Franklin, co-chair and Grant Miacci, principle urban designer at the City of Raleigh Urban Design Center, attended the meeting and gave an overview of how The Downtown Plan will be created. Dr. Lloyd Williams, chair of the Shaw University Computer and Information Sciences Department, has been serving on the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee established by the Raleigh City Council. The meeting brought together student and community/city leaders and helped give Shaw a voice in planning Raleigh’s future. 

“Having this event was so important,” said Dr. Williams. “Shaw has been one of the hearts of Raleigh’s downtown community for nearly 150 years. Getting Shaw students directly involved in making the decisions about how Raleigh will grow is crucial.”

The City of Raleigh has created plans to guide its growth every ten years for the past several decades.  The last downtown plan, created ten years ago, became known as The Livable Streets plan and prompted large city projects such as the reopening of Fayetteville Street, the construction of the Convention Center and the outdoor Red Hat Amphitheater.  The plan was highly successful and has had a huge positive effect on downtown Raleigh.

The next downtown plan, which is currently being created, will likely be even more important.  Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and the next downtown plan will serve as an important guide for the enormous growth Raleigh will see over the next ten years.

At the conclusion of the event, the students noted how much they appreciated the opportunity to present their ideas and demonstrate how much they have to contribute to Raleigh’s bright future.  Several Shaw staff members including Dr. Tashni Dubroy, Ebony Johnson, Dr. Kim Leathers and Dr. Lloyd Williams all took active leadership roles in the planning and preparation for the event.