Dozens of New Hanover County citizens are brainstorming ways to use local land, resources, and economic opportunities in the not-so-distant future. It’s all part of the Comprehensive Plan, a public engagement initiative to plot the development necessary to accommodate this region’s projected population swell. In November, when the planning department initially outlined this plan, they told their commissioners they would constantly be reevaluating their strategy, to ensure that all citizens had a voice. However, a significant sector of the population hasn’t been accounted for.
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.
The City of Wilmington is expected to gain 60,000 citizens by the year 2040. In anticipation, city planners have launched a comprehensive plan similar to that of New Hanover County. While the Wilmington plan also asks residents to describe their ideal community attributes, its public engagement process is less orthodox. In fact, city planners have been hitting the local bar scene to collect input.