On Sept. 25, leaders of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community traveled to Boulder and Denver, Colo. to spend three days learning and discussing key issues to ultimately improve their community back home.
Every two years the Chamber of Commerce puts together an Inter-City Visit for community leaders to explore the policies and ideas of other similar cities.
Leaders participated in workshops and panels, where Boulder’s leaders would come to have conversations about civic life, economic development and university life. Boulder was chosen specifically because Chapel Hill-Carrboro was interested in what they had done with transit and transit investment.
The travelers were impressed with Boulder’s ability to think ahead through a land bank strategy for economic and housing development. This strategy entails the city buying pieces of land that are to be used in the future for things like affordable housing and transit locations.
Michael Parker, Chapel Hill Town Council member, said Boulder’s ability to think ahead and have a consistent vision for their community was something worth replicating. He also admired Boulder's Pearl Street Mall downtown.
“The attention to detail, such as street sculptures and flowers, made the downtown seem like a family friendly place,” he said.
Overall, there was little disagreement between the two towns. However, Board of Aldermen Member Bethany Chaney said the one major difference between Boulder and Chapel Hill-Carrboro was Boulder’s lack of diversity.