What are the Best Places to Live if the Polar Ice Caps Melt?
As a kid, I enjoyed growing up near and vacationing at the Crystal Coast of North Carolina or what others call the Southern Outer Banks (SOBX). The sounds of the waves crashing, the salty smell of sea mist and the summertime breeze provides times for relaxation, but then reality sets in. As I am rocking in my chair on the porch enjoying the day, I happen to hear the repetitive ping sound from an email on my iPhone (yes I know I shouldn’t be checking it on vacation). An article by Forbes caught my curiosity when the question was posed, “What Would Be The Best Place To Live If The Polar Ice Caps Melt?”
This question made me ponder if this would be a list the Research Triangle Region would be on as we are ranked by others as the best place to (you name it). Since this scenario is not foreseen anytime soon, I started to focus on what makes our region thrive today.
- Our region is fortunate to be home to three tier one research universities (UNC, Duke, NC State), nine other institutions of higher learning, as well as seven technical community colleges that supply the innovation, creativeness, training and talent pool of the region’s future.
- An educated populous with over 46% with a college degree (urban and rural) compared to 36% nationally.
- A quality of place that provides opportunity to enjoy low cost factors in energy, healthcare and housing compared to the national average.
- Regional employment growth that currently ranks the region as one of 14 major markets, out of 102, that has more jobs than it did prerecession. The Triangle Region has experience a net employment gain over the last five years as well as for 2012. Another positive sign shows that all counties in the region grew in employment in 2012.
- A population of over 2.1 million continues to increase representing 21.6% of the state’s population. Projections show an increase of another 750 thousand people in the next 20 years.
- An expanding Raleigh-Durham International Airport that currently has more origination and destination travelers than Charlotte Douglas International.
- The first new medical school in North Carolina in the last 36 years is almost complete at Campbell University, focusing on osteopathic medicine.
- An innovation corridor through our educational and research park assets, whether its North Carolina State’s Centennial Campus; the new master plan redevelopment for The Research Triangle Park; worldly institutes and laboratories at Duke University to the future Carolina North development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Pst, Pst: All these assets and more will be showcased in the upcoming 2013 State of the Research Triangle Region around the idea of Collaboratition. (Hope to see you there.)
Crack, Bam! I am suddenly awakened out of my snooze to the coming storm rolling in with the tide. As I reflect on our region’s future, I am relieved that I don’t have to worry about a full meltdown anytime soon of the polar ice caps. However, somehow I still believe the Research Triangle Region would find a way to be on that list too.