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This edition is sponsored by Minerva Media Co.


This epic view + one of Raleigh's top culinary teams = Luang Prabang

Beginning in fall 2020, you’ll get to enjoy dishes by some of Raleigh’s top culinary talents with one of the best Downtown Raleigh skyline views.

Luang Prabang will be a Laotian grill and garden bar at the rooftop terrace at The Dillon, a building in the Warehouse District. 

Who's behind it: Siblings Vansana (“Van”) and Vanvisa Nolintha, who opened Raleigh's award-winning Brewery Bhavana and Bida Manda, as well as Bhavana head brewer and co-owner Patrick Woodson. 
 
About the concept: While the cocktails will balance "creativity and restraint," the planned menu "celebrates the lush flavors of Northern Laos, the centerpiece of which is a traditional charcoal grill, honoring the adventurous eats found at the night market along the jasmine-scented streets of Luang Prabang," their Instagram post said

The restaurant and terrace bar will be the largest of the three restaurants, the News & Observer reports, bigger than both Brewery Bhavana and Bida Manda combined.

It's named after the town where the Nolinthas grew up. 

It's both “a love letter to the place we come from” and “a celebration of the hopefulness, passion, and the spirit of people who make up Raleigh,” their post went on to say.

The context: The Dillon mixed-use tower opened in the Warehouse District in 2018 and its street-level food and beverage options include Heirloom Brewshop, O-Ku sushi, Oak Steakhouse and Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar.

The Dillon is central for current and future activity: It's across the street from Raleigh Union Station, the Amtrak station, and the future site of the bus transfer station that will connect an envisioned commuter rail with multimodal options.

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-Ana Maria Muñoz, owner of Downtown Raleigh's Port of Raleigh, featured in the first edition of the recently launched Downtown Quarterly Mag.
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3 more ideas from the Triangle Smart Cities Summit:


🧠 Sensors and new technologies can create data of some of our biggest challenges. 

One challenge is learning to collaborate regionally. Using stormwater as an example (because it doesn’t care about municipalities’ lines and is expected to grow with climate change), Raleigh Internet of Things organization and convener RiOT, public and private leaders discussed how agreeing on data standards, rather than tech, can help with collaboration.

New technologies can tackle tough challenges like growth and transportation. In a live demo from ESRI, technology at a busy intersection on Six Forks Road created a live dashboard of data that could be used to evaluate traffic. Also in the works: A “digital twin” of downtown Raleigh to test different scenarios with projected growth. 


🧠 Digital inclusion is important as technology develops.

Digital inclusion can mean finding alternative ways for people to pay for internet service: In Wilson, Greenlight Community Broadband built the infrastructure for its residents to get connected to the internet, but found people weren’t using it in some neighborhoods with lower income levels. When they examined their business practices, they discovered barriers to gaining access: credit histories, past payment histories. When they switched it to a pre-paid model, where residents can “charge up” use one day but not use it the next, they were able to include more people.

Digital inclusion also looks like intergenerational training and workforce development: In Raleigh, the Digital Connectors program, for kids (14-18), teaches new technologies and leadership skills. Those alumni help teach others digital skills.


🧠 The Town of Cary is a leader in smart city technology. 

The municipal compound itself is an “Internet of Things” test bed for smart cities tech. Current projects include:
  • Smart water metering, Aquastar, which replaced traditional water meters. Aquastar “water meters contain a transmitter that communicates usage and data via wireless technology directly to the Town.” That means faster leak response time, less manual work of meter measuring.
  • Cary residents can also ask Alexa about city services.
  • Waze includes scheduled construction information.
In the future, the new Wake County Cary Regional Library/Downtown Cary parking deck will be ‘smart parking’ and the seven-acre Downtown Park expansion (which will be funded by the recently-approved parks bond) will be a smart park.

[previously: Raleigh + Cary area will test the next generation of wireless technology]


The new Raleigh City Council's 90-day priorities: At an event celebrating the new city council members on Monday night, mayor-elect Mary-Ann Baldwin shared the top 90-day priorities for the council: ADUs (accessory dwelling units, aka granny flats, aka casitas), AirBnBs (the new council's makeup favors less restrictions on vacation rentals) and scooters. The swearing in will be Dec. 2 evening at Raleigh Union Station.

Which grocery store really has the best prices?
If it seems like you're hearing a lot about new grocery stores, well, you are. The News & Observer build a database of products to compare different items' prices at different grocery stores (the typical chains plus places like Weaver Street Market). While Walmart may have low prices, Wegmans also fared well in their analysis. Look at the item-by-item database for your often-purchased foods.
Thanks for reading this edition of the Raleigh Convergence!

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