Public input is the key factor shaping the City of Wilmington’s Comprehensive Plan. This is what city planners are launching in anticipation of massive population growth over the next twenty-five years. And they’re seeking input from everyone, especially those citizens most likely to still call Wilmington home in 2040—schoolchildren.
Last week, the planners visited Roland Grise Middle School to give sixth-graders a taste of the city-planning process. Christine Hughes, a senior planner, grilled students about their ideal city qualities, their career plans, and whether they think they’ll stay local once they grow up. Hughes reports that these kids are already dejected about the Port City’s job market.
"I mean these kids are eleven, and they said, ‘It’s a great place to retire, but it’s not a great place to have a career.’ We’re thinking twenty-five years ahead, so we wanted to know what these young folks are thinking for twenty-five years from now. Because if we’re not working towards a city right now, that’s a good place for them to live in twenty-five years, we could be in trouble down the road."
The next stop on the planners’ public input-gathering circuit? Hoggard High School.