Heart of the Triad Master Plan
Successful regional leadership demands perseverance.
As participant in the first round of the ACCE-Ford Foundation Regional Sustainable Development Fellowship in 2006, Gayle Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Winston-Salem (NC) Chamber, began creating a development strategy for a key area in the Triad, North Carolina region. She set out to create a combined land use and transportation master plan for a 7,500 acre area between the Triad region's three major cities - Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem. This piece of land, now know as Heart of the Triad, is home to several major employers, borders the region's airport, and is crossed by 3 primary interstate highways. With those kind of assets, the area is poised for growth.
However, the land is divided among 2 counties and 6 cities or townships. With 8 separate municipal governments to coordinate, it isn't easy to create a common vision for sustainable growth. But Gayle and her counterparts in the region kept at it. This June, after four years and a lot of perseverance, a strategic planning committee comprised of elected officials from each district approved a comprehensive transportation and land use plan for the area called Heart of the Triad: A Collaborative Plan for Economic Vitality and Quality of Life. Click for more info on the plan.
They are not done yet, but Heart of the Triad is another example of how chambers can maintain vision beyond the next election cycle and coordinate stakeholders to transcend borders.