Your View: Guest Column - Let’s build on Ignite High Point energy

Jun. 09, 2013 @ 01:37 AM

BY AARON CLINARD

Andres Duany has IGNITED High Point!
In opening and closing sessions at High Point University with near capacity crowds (500-plus); nine formal charrettes in between with attendance of over 220 (and many other informal ones across the community); and a closing celebration with nearly 500 people at “The Pit,” even the skeptics would have to observe that High Pointers exhibited enthusiastic interest, support and a pent-up desire … a desire to:  see real change in our City … create unique and out of the box opportunities to have a quality of life that offers fun places to go and be entertained … see young people want to live, work, play and contribute in our community … and volunteer to help make the Duany visions become a reality.
None of this effort would have been possible without the sincere and diligent support of so many like: the nearly 100 private investors who generously contributed necessary funds to pay the Duany teams’ professional fees; members of The City Project Board and the Duany Commission who relentlessly pursued the concept of creating and promoting a Master Plan with the best professional team in the world in urban planning; many members of our City Council and a city manager and department heads who attended multiple sessions always expressing an open-minded spirit of willingness for change; The High Point Enterprise who saw this as an important and newsworthy happening while providing superior coverage to its readers; Peter Freeman of Freeman Kennett Architects for his professionalism and suggestion of Andres Duany; and High Point University and its President Nido Qubein who showed our city again its solid support for enabling this community to reach even higher plateaus than we already enjoy.
Yes, High Point has been ignited, but the closing session on May 15 was really just the beginning. It was the serving of the plate … the extra special treat … the dose of medicinal remedies that we as the citizens of High Point must now take, pursue, work through, continue to support, offer our services for, feast upon and over the course of many years maintain that revitalization of our town is its No. 1 priority.
As we await the final Master Plan document from Duany (scheduled for sometime in September), we as a City Project Board and Duany Commission will continue to plan, implement, identify partners in the development world, keep you informed, offer report sessions to City Council, and do everything in our toolbox to make the Duany visions for a very special place called High Point to become a reality … for our City to become all that it can be … and for it to become that “city on the hill” that has its light shining brightly throughout the Triad, the State of North Carolina and even to the world as a destination of choice.
We thank you the community and offer our pledge that we will “never, never, never give up” in making High Point what you want, what you expect it to be and truly find “What High Point Needs.”

Aaron Clinard is chairman of The City Project.