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The System Plan’s team utilized innovative techniques to

conduct a comprehensive city-wide needs and priorities

assessment. Techniques used are a combination of

industry best practices that provide a system of cross

checks to determine the top needs and priorities for parks,

recreation and cultural resources in the City of Raleigh.

Public participation forms the foundation of the research

and provides a snap shot of the views of residents,

stakeholders and elected officials for the vision as well

as the needs and priorities of the City of Raleigh’s Parks,

Recreation and Cultural Resources System. Three types

of research, however, were utilized in a mixed methods,

triangulated approach as part of the needs assessment

process: observational; qualitative; and quantitative.

Together these three types of research provided 13

techniques to cross-check results and better determine

an accurate understanding of the City of Raleigh’s needs

and priorities for parks, recreation and cultural resource

facilities. With the interaction of over 5,300 citizens

through face-to-face meetings and surveys and over

12,000 citizens through on-line participation, the

System Plan team gained a better understanding of the

community’s needs.

Through the compilation of findings

from various research techniques,

a number of parks, recreation and

cultural resource needs and priorities

emerged.The table belowis anoverview

of the findings from each analysis

technique for the top ten facility and

activity needs of the community.

City of Raleigh

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources

Needs and Priorities Assessment

= Indicates Need

Needs Assessment Techniques

Existing Conditions


Community Meetings

Focus Groups

Stakeholder Interviews

Online Website

Online Public Opinion


Citizen Opinion and

Interest Survey

Peer Comparison

High Level Lifestyle


Recreation Programs and

Services Assessment

Acreage Level of Service


Facility Level of Service


Access Level of Service



Smaller Neighborhood Parks

Greenway Trails

Dog Parks

Outdoor Pools

Tennis Courts

Picnic Areas/ Shelters

Nature Preserves


Indoor Pools

Accessible Playgrounds


Fitness and Wellness


Senior Adults


Performing Arts

Adult Sports



Before/ After School

Volunteer Opportunities

Top Ten Community-

wide Park and Recreation

Facilities and Activities


Citizen Priorities:

Maintain and enhance existing

parks, greenways

and athletic fields;

Equitable distribution

of small, neighborhood

parks with connections to sidewalks and greenways

within one-mile of each resident;


greenway connectivity

to neighborhoods

with hierarchy of types and functions;

Highest priority programs are

fitness and wellness


history and museums; nature; aquatics; family,

senior adult; performing arts; and lake-related


Focus on

improving and reinvigorating


facilities (athletic fields, tennis) and parks;

Develop new

urban lifestyle-based parks


greenway connection options for urbanizing areas

with immediate and long-term solutions;

Identify future

natural lands

for preservation and

provide an equitable distribution of nature parks;


better coordination with schools


educational curriculum recreation programs and

greenway connection options;