What is a Theme? (and yes, you need to be there on the 27th!)

Themes – they’re the building blocks of the plan.  And all the theme groups start working on the 27th!

If you haven’t signed up for a theme yet, that’s okay – you can still come to Ephesus Elementary and pick one.

Worried that you’ll miss something in one of the other groups?  Don’t be.  All the theme groups will meet together at the reporting-out sessions so you’ll have a chance to hear what everyone’s doing, chime in and help us bring all the themes together into one plan.

You’ll recognize the themes from your conversations on the 27th and the 6th – with some adjustments based on your reactions:

  • Good places and new spaces: Downtown & Development (special places, downtown district, housing, development, protecting existing assets, neighborhoods)
  • Town & Gown: Learning and innovation (a center of medicine and health care, life-long learning, using intellectual/financial capital, re-thinking the status quo)
  • Getting Around:  Transportation: (transportation of all forms, regional assets, partnerships, potential for shared success)
  • Community prosperity and engagement: Fiscal Sustainability and public safety, (affordability, economic development, tourism, neighborhoods, services delivery)
  • A Place for Everyone: diversity, cultural vibrancy, & the arts (youth, teens, safe places, a welcoming community, arts, creativity, celebrations, special events, inclusion)
  • Nurturing our community: environmental sustainability: (our natural environment, open spaces, solid waste, recycling, parks, greenways, rural buffer)

This is where we start – but there will be opportunities to add to the themes and develop their content.  At the first meeting on the 27th, people will have a chance to get caught up on the discussions to-date,  learn about the overall process and begin developing some of the ideas from the community data (September 27 and October 6th) for their particular theme. 

If you’re curious about the rest of the process, please check back – we’ll have more here tomorrow!

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8 thoughts on “What is a Theme? (and yes, you need to be there on the 27th!)

  1. I was in the session for ■Good places and new spaces: Downtown & Development (special places, downtown district, housing, development, protecting existing assets, neighborhoods) yesterday. It was a really interesting conversation that centered a lot on Downtown. I would be really interested in the group defining what we think our existing assets are, what protecting neighborhoods looks like, and where should our new special places be.

  2. Jake Gellar-Goad says:

    “A Place for Everyone: diversity, cultural vibrancy, & the arts
    (youth, teens, safe places, a welcoming community, arts, creativity, celebrations, special events, inclusion)”

    I’m glad to see this theme. In particular the mentions of diversity, a welcoming community, and safe places. Not everywhere in this state does that. It doesn’t go without saying that communities in NC are safe for everyone.

    There’s a reason I live somewhere like Chapel Hill rather than in the small towns in western NC like the one where I grew up or in the rural parts of eastern NC where I work.

    The more explicitly our community can support diversity, welcoming, and safety the better. There is value in being specific because not everywhere that says they support diversity mean LGBT diversity as a part of that.

    I’m in Charlotte today with the in-laws, and going with my husband to a talk at a college here, but if someone could pass along my support for having our community explicitly support these values, I’d appreciate it!

    – Jake Gellar-Goad

  3. Pingback: First Meeting of All Theme Groups is Thursday |

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  5. jeanne brown says:

    Linda,
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is clear that you put a great deal of time and thought into this. It is a statement that reflects all stakeholder groups in a balanced way. Although I believe that the vision statements will emerge from the theme group discussions I think your wording could serve as a strong example for Theme Discussion Groups when they begin to craft their Vision Statements.

  6. As an important component of both Community prosperity Environmental sustainability Chapel Hill should adopt an Energy Descent Action Plans as part of the 2020 comprehensive plan.

    An Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) is a local plan for dealing with the area following the age of abundant Cheap Oil. It goes well beyond issues of energy supply, to look at across-the-board creative adaptations in the realms of health, education, economy and much more. An EDAP is a way to think ahead, to plan in an integrated, multidisciplinary way, to provide direction to local government, decision makers, groups and individuals with an interest in making the place they live into a vibrant and viable community in a post-carbon era.

  7. Pingback: October 22: Open House at University Mall was a Blast! |

  8. Linda James says:

    Hi Everyone. Since I am unable to attend tomorrow’s open house, I wanted to put out a suggestion for a draft mission statement. I have tried to integrate the raw brainstorming data from 9/27, the cloud analysis, the draft mission statements and themes, the voting results from 10/6, and comments on the blog. Additionally, I tried to cover our assets while setting the bar higher for the future. Specific tactical approaches which may enable the achievement of the mission (such as mixed-use, diverse tax base, etc.) are not included in the mission statement because these approaches can be debated and can also change over time. More importantly, they are not goals in and of themselves unless they support and enable the broader mission.

    Suggested draft mission statement:

    Chapel Hill will attract visitors, businesses, residents and scholars alike to its academic excellence for students of all ages; diverse business and entrepreneurial opportunities; vibrant, dynamic cultural, artistic and athletic environment; world-class health care and intellectual capital.

    Chapel hill will become a benchmark for sustainability and smart growth
    while positioning itself for a prosperous and economically sound future
    through innovation, careful management of resources, protection of the environment and respect for its heritage.

    Fueled by an economically and socially diverse, involved and empowered citizenry strongly intertwined with the University and its students,
    Chapel Hill will support and enable North Carolina to successfully win the future.

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