City of Raleigh Strategic Plan

Last updated Feb. 10, 2017 - 3:16 pm
Arts & Cultural Resources
Economic Development & Innovation
Growth & Natural Resources
Organizational Excellence
Safe, Vibrant & Healthy Community
Transportation & Transit

guides the work of the City of Raleigh as it grows and responds to the evolving needs of residents. Over the next three to five years, the strategic plan will point the way toward maintaining and improving the qualities that make Raleigh an outstanding city. The plan articulates areas of strategic focus that target the City’s efforts and resources in ways intended to have the greatest impact in the six key focus areas over the life of the plan.

The Strategic PlanBrowseDownload
2016 Community Survey ResultsBrowseDownload
2016 Community Survey PresentationBrowseDownload
FY2017 Mid-Year Performance ReportBrowseDownload


In April 2015, Raleigh City Council marked a milestone with the adoption of the City’s first-ever strategic plan. City Council provides the vision and leadership for Raleigh’s strategic planning efforts.

The strategic plan’s six key focus areas reflect the chief components that support the current and future identity and character of the city. The plan contains citywide objectives and strategic initiatives needed to support the key focus areas. Some of the objectives and initiatives align with work the City has identified in previous work, including the 2030 Comprehensive Plan that provides long-range guidance for growth and development. City employees direct resources and work efforts toward meeting and supporting the strategic plan’s objectives and initiatives. While several of the strategic plan initiatives are already underway, others will require further staff evaluation or will involve partnerships with the private sector, educational institutions, and other community groups. Raleigh’s strategic planning efforts also include performance measurement which will assist the City with using its resources more effectively by illuminating successes and challenges.

In late 2016, as part of the strategic planning efforts, City Council commissioned a third-party administered community survey to gain valuable feedback from Raleigh residents.

Each fiscal year, City staff will submit a performance report to City Council, and ultimately the public, to document its progress at addressing the City Council’s strategic plan.

Arts & Cultural Resources

Arts & Cultural Resources

Embrace Raleigh’s diverse offerings of arts and cultural resources as iconic celebrations of our community that provide entertainment, community and economic benefit.

Objective 1: Position Raleigh as a nationally recognized entertainment, cultural and tourism destination.

  • Initiative 1.1: Develop a comprehensive brand and marketing campaign to market Raleigh as the “Southern Capital of Arts and Culture.”
  • Initiative 1.2: Explore the feasibility of partnering with the private sector to establish a unified arts and culture foundation.
  • Initiative 1.3: Complete development of the Raleigh Arts plan.

Objective 2: Protect, enhance and develop unique places that reflect the City’s character, history and values.

  • Initiative 2.1: Develop partnerships to define, inventory and evaluate needs for Raleigh’s unique places.
  • Initiative 2.2: Develop a long-term vision and goals for Raleigh’s historic assets.
  • Initiative 2.3: Conduct a market study for the Performing Arts Center to identify opportunities to improve facilities and programs.
  • Initiative 2.4: Work with community partners to create a development plan for the Dorothea Dix Park.

Objective 3: Create initiatives and partnerships that foster diverse and innovative arts, cultural and tourism opportunities.

  • Initiative 3.1: Develop a plan to increase diverse arts and cultural activities throughout all geographical areas of Raleigh.
  • Initiative 3.2: Identify future destination facilities that support and enhance arts, culture and convention activities.
  • Initiative 3.3: Identify opportunities to integrate the convergence of arts and technology.

Economic Development & Innovation

Economic Development & Innovation

Maintain and grow a diverse economy through partnerships and innovation to support large and small businesses and entrepreneurs, while providing employment opportunities for all citizens.

Objective 1: Attract, retain and engage a talented workforce of various ages, skill sets and backgrounds to support a diverse and growing economy.

  • Initiative 1.1: Work with the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and other partners to continue the evaluation of the local labor force profile and analysis.
  • Initiative 1.2: Convene a regional forum of educational organizations to build strategies for providing programs and degrees to meet workforce needs.
  • Initiative 1.3: Continue to partner with non-profits on workforce development issues.

Objective 2: Cultivate an innovative and entrepreneurial culture based on shared strategic goals.

  • Initiative 2.1: Create partnerships and identify best practices to develop an innovation lab that will be the platform for small, start-up and minority-owned business development and education.
  • Initiative 2.2: Host regular forums with the business community to promote collaboration on economic development themes.
  • Initiative 2.3: Pursue joint business ventures with the private sector, State of North Carolina and local universities that encourage and implement creative projects that add jobs and investment in our community.

Objective 3: Establish a strong economic development program that utilizes strategic policies and a comprehensive tool kit of resources to strengthen Raleigh and encourages business investment in all parts of the City.

  • Initiative 3.1: Create the economic development tool kit containing policies and programs such as business grants, loans, innovation funding and small business assistance that support business recruitment, development and retention.
  • Initiative 3.2: Continue to refine, revise and improve the development review and permitting process.
  • Initiative 3.3: Develop a policy for strategic property disposition and acquisition.

Objective 4: Maintain and develop amenities and infrastructure specifically attractive to economic development.

  • Initiative 4.1: Explore alternate financing methods adequate for on-going maintenance, repair and expansion of necessary infrastructure for economic development.
  • Initiative 4.2: Develop downtown parking strategies to adequately support economic development.
  • Initiative 4.3: Partner with providers to facilitate high-speed broadband service.

Growth & Natural Resources

Growth & Natural Resources

Encourage a diverse, vibrant built environment that preserves and protects the community’s natural resources while encouraging sustainable growth that complements existing development.

Objective 1: Develop and maintain adaptable services, policies and a regulatory framework that protects natural resources.

  • Initiative 1.1: Implement process improvement methodology, to include
    • regulatory process review
    • identification of best practices
    • metrics for services, policies, regulations and incentives

Objective 2: Increase the connected network of green spaces that conserve natural resources and promote outdoor activity.

  • Initiative 2.1: Add amenities to greenway trails to increase and improve user experience.
  • Initiative 2.2: Expand green space in Raleigh by creating an open-space plan including criteria for land acquisition and pursuing non-City funding for land preservation.

Objective 3: Optimize public infrastructure projects to address community resiliency, sustainability and efficiency.

  • Initiative 3.1: Implement the climate energy action plan including the anaerobic digestion processes at the wastewater treatment plant, the renewable energy plan, and the fuel and fleet transformation recommendations.
  • Initiative 3.2: Evaluate all planned public infrastructure projects through a matrix and cross-departmental planning team designed to identify sustainability and resiliency along with interdepartmental, cross-agency and regional partnership opportunities.
  • Initiative 3.3: Build on recommendations of the Green Infrastructure Task Force, including an inventory of green infrastructure and the establishment of a green-infrastructure policy for City projects and facilities.
  • Initiative 3.4: Implement strategies for City-wide waste reduction.

Objective 4: Facilitate improvements to the built environment that preserve and create neighborhoods of choice.

  • Initiative 4.1: Prioritize and complete area plans for neighborhoods poised for new investment.
  • Initiative 4.2: Align the Capital Improvement Program to support existing growth and to catalyze investment in targeted areas.
  • Initiative 4.3: Evaluate funding strategies for implementation and maintenance of streetscape, pedestrian and neighborhood enhancement projects.
  • Initiative 4.4: Adopt and implement a Complete Streets policy.
  • Initiative 4.5: Create guidelines and standards for transit supportive development.
  • Initiative 4.6: Support efforts to improve the state government complex.

Organizational Excellence

Organizational Excellence

Foster a transparent, nimble organization of employees challenged to provide high quality, responsive, and innovative services efficiently and effectively.

Objective 1: Promote a culture that values continuous improvement, employs leading business practices and fosters financial stability.

  • Initiative 1.1: Develop and adopt a performance management philosophy that encourages innovation by:
    • promoting continuous improvement
    • allowing evaluation of our financial condition, human capital and policies and processes
    • aligning with community goals and priorities.
  • Initiative 1.2: Develop and implement stakeholder satisfaction surveys that have a visible and direct impact on decision making and service delivery.
  • Initiative 1.3: Develop and implement a comprehensive communications policy and plan to effectively tell the City of Raleigh’s story.
  • Initiative 1.4: Assess the organization’s ability to provide services during times of severe stress through a review of business continuity plans and resiliency principles.
  • Initiative 1.5: Establish a governance structure for maintaining organizational policies and procedures.
  • Initiative 1.6: Review the Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating (STAR) feedback to identify gaps and opportunities for community improvement.

Objective 2: Align facilities, staff and technology with organizational needs.

  • Initiative 2.1: Increase accessibility of documents and records to internal and external customers.
  • Initiative 2.2: Continue to evaluate further development of the City’s institutional fiber network for current and future facilities and sites.
  • Initiative 2.3: Plan a centralized campus that provides easy access to staff and citizens and promotes effective collaboration.

Objective 3: Expand effective and equitable customer service that engages all stakeholders through transparency, cooperation and feedback.

  • Initiative 3.1: Develop and implement consistent customer service standards, training and evaluation organization-wide.
  • Initiative 3.2: Review the scope, structure and engagement of City boards, committees and commissions to enhance purpose and value in the policy-making process.
  • Initiative 3.3: Implement a Customer Relationship Management system to facilitate better customer service.

Objective 4: Recruit and retain a diverse, high-performing work force.

  • Initiative 4.1: Identify core competencies and expectations for all employees hired and working for the City.
  • Initiative 4.2: Assess, develop and adopt a total compensation philosophy and structure (to include pay, classification and employee performance evaluation systems).
  • Initiative 4.3: Develop formal and structured career paths and succession-planning processes to encourage employee cross-training and professional development.
  • Initiative 4.4: Develop recruitment strategies to ensure the City attracts highly qualified candidates while leveraging strengths of the local workforce.

Safe, Vibrant & Healthy Community

Safe, Vibrant & Healthy Community

Promote a clean, engaged community environment where people feel safe and enjoy access to community amenities that support a high quality of life.

Objective 1: Promote a positive level of real and perceived safety that reflects a thriving atmosphere in which to live, work and play.

  • Initiative 1.1: Assess response needed for adequate police presence at entertainment venues and special events.
  • Initiative 1.2: Apply Crime Prevention through Environmental Design principles to increase and enhance safety in targeted areas throughout the City.
  • Initiative 1.3: Evaluate public safety staffing and facility needs in order to optimize public safety outcomes.

Objective 2: Preserve and increase the supply of housing for all income groups, including those with supportive service needs.

  • Initiative 2.1: Establish partnerships to provide for a homeless service resource center.
  • Initiative 2.2: Expand partnerships to increase the supply of permanent housing for formerly homeless and at-risk persons with special needs.
  • Initiative 2.3: Seek new partnerships for the development of mixed-income housing in or near the downtown area.
  • Initiative 2.4: Replace the Scattered Site Policy with a tool that affirmatively sets forth desired housing outcomes.
  • Initiative 2.5: Evaluate funding strategies to support affordable housing; review, modify or expand housing programs and tools.

Objective 3: Endorse targeted redevelopment through walkable, mixed-use and mixed-income neighborhoods.

  • Initiative 3.1: Prepare and adopt plans for targeted areas characterized by disinvestment and consider funding strategies to implement plan components.
  • Initiative 3.2: Identify and address acquisition priorities in redevelopment areas to eliminate blight and create critical land mass for future development.
  • Initiative 3.3: Strengthen neighborhood social fabric through community outreach, engagement and communication.

Objective 4: Enhance our citizens’ quality of life by providing a well-designed community that facilitates active living.

  • Initiative 4.1: Develop tools and strategies that eliminate barriers to healthy lifestyle choices in the planning process.
  • Initiative 4.2: Identify and implement service enhancements and capital investments to increase the cleanliness and appearance of Downtown Raleigh.

Transportation & Transit

Transportation & Transit

Develop an equitable, citywide transportation network for pedestrians, cyclists, automobiles, and transit that is linked to regional municipalities, rail, and air hubs.

Objective 1: Develop a unified and coordinated transportation and land use vision implemented through effective and efficient project delivery.

  • Initiative 1.1: Review and evaluate project delivery process.
  • Initiative 1.2: Develop and communicate the City’s vision for transit, transportation and land use.
  • Initiative 1.3: Review regional data, growth projections, development potential and area planning and reflect data in investments in transportation capital projects.

Objective 2: Enhance the safety, maintenance, convenience and appearance of the transportation network in order to give more people more choices.

  • Initiative 2.1: Identify and implement projects that strengthen connections between modes.
  • Initiative 2.2: Evaluate usage data and public feedback to modify and improve the transportation experience with emphasis on bus cleanliness, safety, amenities and on-time service.
  • Initiative 2.3: Develop a three- to five-year plan for maintenance and improvements coordinated with available funding sources.
  • Initiative 2.4: Make investments to position select greenway trails as transportation options.

Objective 3: Connect the City’s transportation network to the region through partnerships.

  • Initiative 3.1: Evaluate existing relationships; explore and develop potential partnerships that would improve regional mobility.
  • Initiative 3.2: Support the Wake Transit Investment Study.

Objective 4: Establish Raleigh as the leader in transportation innovation.

  • Initiative 4.1: Identify and implement pilot projects to test transportation innovations for widespread use.
  • Initiative 4.2: Examine and plan for alternative fuel technologies for transit services.
  • Initiative 4.3: Host regular summits on transportation and other relevant topics.

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