The most frustrating aspect of fighting for progressive change in North Carolina is the constant reactionary pressure to not change anything, or "if you do, make sure it is not too radical". These forces have reared their head in the fight against the Regional Rail in the Triangle and even the nixing of artistic lightposts in Raleigh. Whether the argument thrown out is that public transportation would not work here or these lights are too ornate for Raleigh, the end result is that we have a bland city with tons of sprawl and traffic problems. If we want to have a great state, Triangle, or city, we need to take chances; whether the lights in Raleigh would have been considered great urban art or just odd urban art does not matter, since the important aspect would be a unique, bold
fixture in downtown that would get people interested.
Given these frustrations in getting advancements, it was nice to see the fruits of a bold, progressive move by the area almost 50 years ago. Today, the Triangle Business Journal announced that Triangle would host an international conference on science parks in 2009. The Triangle joins such great cities as Bergamo, Italy; Beijing, China; Helsinki; Barcelona, Spain; and Johannesburg, South Africa as hosts of this conference. Having the Triangle in this group of cities shows what bold initiatives can acheive. By purchasing 3,500 acres with over a million dollars of private and public funds in the 1950's, North Carolina was ahead of the curve in grabbing high-tech industry and ensuring the prosperity of the Triangle for decades to come. Now the Research Triangle is home to more than 136 companies who employ 37,600 workers in a variety of industries. The combined annual salaries in RTP amount to over $2.7 billion dollars. (source).
From the Triangle Business Journal:
For the first time in its 22-year history, the International Association of Science Parks will hold an independent conference inside the United States, with the nonprofit owner and developer of Research Triangle Park playing host to the event in Raleigh.
Officials with the Research Triangle Foundation announced Tuesday that they will organize and host the 2009 IASP World Conference. The proposed venue for the conference is the 500,000-square-foot Raleigh Convention Center, slated to open in 2008.
The conference was awarded to RTP this month at the 2006 world conference held in Helsinki, Finland, which drew more than 600 delegates from 58 countries. By 2009, the conference is expected to draw as many as 1,000 delegates.
The conference is estimated to create an economic impact on the area of about $600,000, Dave Heinl, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, said in a written statement released Tuesday.