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Hi y'all.

You might have noticed that Raleigh Convergence doesn’t cover just the news happening within the Raleigh city limits. Often, there’s news about Cary and Knightdale, sometimes other areas of Wake County. 

Finding that right balance of regionalization is an intentional calibration of curation each week, ensuring that people have a mix of the most actionable and relevant stories to read.

The theme of regionalization emerged during Wednesday’s Triangle Smart Cities Summit from the City of Raleigh, RiOT and NC State, and it got me thinking.

Whether it’s people or stormwater, we’re frequently crossing the lines between municipalities and different agencies’ service areas.

It seems to me like the collective we -- myself and you, the community I’m creating for -- tend to stick in areas of Wake County most days, heading to Durham for the occasional special show, meeting or a food experience. 

But you tell me: When you think of your community, where does that include? Where do you work, live and play?

--Sarah Day

📸: Devin Desjarlais Photography

PS: Could you take a few minutes to fill out this survey if you haven't yet? It will help the Raleigh Convergence be more relevant to you!
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News you need to know, in context.
🧠 The Raleigh area is smart and getting smarter

You may have heard: The Research Triangle will be the third place in the country to test the next generation of wireless technology thanks to a grant.

But here’s what that actually means: Raleigh and Cary will be a "testbed" for new smart city technology. The experimentation connects unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly called drones) and next-generation wireless networks. 

NC State researchers will work with partners to test how these new technologies actually function in the real-world space.

The implications of the experimentation includes better connectivity to communities after natural disasters and use of these technologies for delivering packages.

panel including the project lead and partners shared more Wednesday at the Triangle Smart Cities Summit.

But first, the terminology: 
  • Nodes: "On today’s networks, fixed nodes enable 4G signals to connect to wireless devices. On the AERPAW platform, nodes will be mobile, with the ability to transmit and receive radio waves from user devices while moving on demand," the release defined.
  • 5G: “fifth generation” wireless, which Mari Silbey of US Ignite defined at the event as a “basket of technologies.” 
  • AERPAW: Aerial Experimentation Research Platform for Advanced Wireless, which is the name of the platform that received the $24M National Science Foundation grant.

What they hope to accomplish: The purpose is to make communities better, from civic and public service use to economic development.

The experimentation speeds up the process from the lab to real-world uses, panelists shared. 

AERPAW represents experimentation in a new "dimension," going from the ground and into the airspace. The experiments will be highly mobile, testing how the tech works in a variety of scenarios. 

What's possible?: When there are faster speeds and lower latency in network connectivity, there's much more that's possible with drones: medical use for delivery of defibrillators or blood, or agriculture use with precise, smart readings.

For the 
Department of Transportation, it would allow them to fly drones to areas after natural disaster to check on road conditions.

And drones with 5G technology could bring wireless connectivity to affected areas after a natural disaster that wouldn't otherwise have service.

Where will it start? NC State’s Centennial Campus will have two “nodes,” or 5G capabilities, the Lake Wheeler field lab will have one. There are nodes in the drones themselves, as well. The Town of Cary will be brought in year two of the platform.

After that, the technology will open up for outside experimentation and expand to other areas. There will be an opportunity for people to come and get trained on the platform for development, too. 

Want to hear more? Raleigh Convergence will share more ideas from the Triangle Smart Cities Summit in Tuesday’s newsletter.
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What will change with the newly elected Raleigh City Council?

📰 The news: We anticipated a runoff after three races didn't receive the percentage threshold of votes to win outright.

But the three candidates who could have called for a runoff, didn't: two incumbents, at-large councilor Russ Stephenson and District D representative Kay Crowder, and the second-place finisher mayoral candidate Charles Francis. [read more]

The context: The newly elected council is significantly younger (INDY Week reports the average age drops from 57 to 43), with more progressive policies. 

Five new* city council members (though mayor-elect Mary-Ann Baldwin was an at-large councilor for a decade previously) will change the way Raleigh approaches the future, inevitable growth.

MAB's top priority in her campaign was affordable housing, and she's shared that she's ready to get to work on that 10-point plan.

🖼️ The big picture: As INDY Week wrote in their analysis of anticipated changes, the "neighborhood protectionist" majority is out, and a more progressive council with an eye toward equity and sustainability is in. [5 things to anticipate from the new council]


Community meetings about a police oversight board are planned, even if the Raleigh City Council doesn't wholly support the idea. At Tuesday's city council meeting, the proposed format of the meetings and a schedule was presented. The N&O has more detail here. The recommendations from the community meetings would come in early 2020.

The N.C. State Fair opens today, and the N&O ranked their favorite fair foods. Spoiler alert: Roasted pumpkin spice corn is on there, and I'll be trying it. [read more]

Business on the move: Designed for Joy, a Raleigh accessories company that provides living wage jobs for women at risk for trafficking and those with food and housing insecurities, is the newest shop that will be in Gateway Plaza. 

Hear about a cool concert concept: Podcast Raleigh's interview with Dave Rose of Deep South Entertainment shares news on a membership concert project in the works that could mean seeing a surprise big name on a smaller stage. [listen]

Conversations + storytelling on grief: A new event series, Grief Fest, aims to "spark conversation and provide tools for those who seek to hold space, find a way forward after the unimaginable, and spark a real focus on holding tough conversations." Grief Fest is over Oct. 25-27 weekend, including storytelling, a 5K and a Sunday afternoon conversation. [learn more

Tips or topics you're curious about? Tap reply or email
☑️ Southeast Raleigh Engagement Strategy RSVP. Stakeholders + community members of Southeast Raleigh will gather Friday night, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26, to build a strategy for the future while building on "the legacy that was birthed out of the struggles" of SER. [ICYMI: coverage from first event].

The event will include
a discussion on Intergenerational Leadership, panels on Housing and Police and Community and strategic partnerships, and table talks on "history/culture; food options; youth; transportation; health care/mental health; and job training/re-entry programs." 
"If you have questions about how we can revitalize the community and still preserve our vision and be inclusive, bring those for the lunch panel," organizers say.  [more info + be sure to RSVP]

☑️ If you've been frustrated by the Wake Forest Road closing around Person Street area/Mordecai, here's what happened, an update and who to contact with issues. (via Jedidiah Gant). 

☑️ Early voting began Wednesday for these municipalities in Wake County: Angier, Apex, Durham, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, and Zebulon. [more info]
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