It’s been two weeks now in a suburb that houses families working in the North Carolina Research Triangle Park.
Coming from a densely populated and built-up country, being here is like being on a retreat – away from it all. If I have a sound meter, I would think it is not working. This place is so quiet even though we’re surrounded by houses on all sides and the nearest mall is just 5 minutes walk away.
Here inside the Triangle, residential homes are built around pine forests, business parks hug landscaped hills and broad clean streets line every neighbourhood.
As you can see, the streets are empty as they usually are all day and night with the occasional car or school bus. Folks must be out at work and children in schools or childcare. So far, I’ve only seen a couple of workers building part of a new walkway and a gaggle of geese by the pond.
There’s nothing exciting around here but people are moving over to this part of the country to work and raise kids. What’s the attraction? Digging into a bit of its history –
North Carolina was sort of a backwater state after the war. It had the second-lowest per capita income in the nation and was depending on sunset industries based on tobacco, furniture manufacturing, small-scale farming and textiles.
In 1959, a non-profit organization started by a group of political, business and academic leaders drafted the vision of a new future for the state by anchoring an area between the three major universities: Duke University in Durham, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Research Triangle was created.
It took a couple of decades before big name companies actually moved into the Triangle bringing employment and other service opportunities to this area.
Today it is the largest research park in the States with a diverse list of companies from life sciences to IT, from large MNCs to startups, all based within the 7,000 acres of land developed and managed by the non-profit Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina.
Rather impressive don’t you think?
I mean a non-profit organization taking over the initiative to create jobs and opportunities, and actually make a success out of it. Today North Carolina is in the top ten states by GDP. Makes me wonder about all the other government initiatives that went nowhere except waste taxpayers’ money.