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Triangle city leaders getting ready for population growth

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Cities and towns all over the Triangle have been moving fast to keep up with the growing number of people moving in. The latest numbers show that we could even double in size, in just a few decades.

Raleigh knows a thing or two about expansion, after being named the fastest growing city in America by Forbes. The city is already planning widespread changes in infrastructure to accommodate the growth.

Patrick Cronin with N.C. State University's Institute for Emerging Issues said all this growth is changing the way city leaders are preparing for the future. And we're already starting to see the effects of it.  

"For instance the floating of the Wake County School bond - those are manifestations of the costs - the strains associated with the growth that's taking place," said Cronin.

Nancy McFarlane, Mayor of Raleigh, said, "If we don't plan it right and do it right, it could be a disaster."

She said the city has a 30-year plan to accommodate the growth. "It's hard to make people think about transportation 30 years out when they can still get in their cars and do what they want."

McFarlane said an expansion of our public transportation system is her top priority.

At N.C. State's Hunt Library, we took a look at the numbers. Many counties in North Carolina have grown substantially in just the last decade in real estate, downtown areas and commercial growth. If this keeps up by the year 2030, Wake County could see more than 1.4 million people alone. Right now, the population of Wake County sits around 930,000.

In addition to new buildings downtown that are set to start construction this fall, McFarlane said Raleigh is already talking about adding three more buildings to their skyline in the near future.

Learn more about population growth patterns.

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

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