An interactive view of the Capital Area Greenway System

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The Capital Area Greenway system has become an integral part of Raleigh and has continued to help make the capital the “park with a city in it” that it has strived to be since the 1960s. Beginning with that vision back in 1968, the greenway system took off in 1972 after William L. Flournoy, Jr.’s thesis, “Report to the City Council on the Benefits, Potential, and Methodology of Establishing a Greenway System in Raleigh,” provided the framework for the system as it is today. Since then, the system has experienced periods of growth and support, as well as occasional slow downs and lack of interest, leading to more than 100 miles and 28 trails currently in use. That growth comes amid land use change and construction in and around the greenways. I used three story maps, working independently and as part of a collection, to explore the following: the history of the Capital Area Greenway system, what greenways are, and finally, how the land use has changed around the system of trails that crisscross the city and provide unique connections and recreation opportunities. The first story map, “A History of the Capital Area Greenway System”, uses items such as newspaper clippings, government documents and meeting minutes to explore the growth of the Capital Area Greenway system through time, beginning in the 1960s. In the second story map, “Greenways: What are they? Why should we build them? How are they built?”, users are given an overview of greenways in general, with the Raleigh system being used for context. This story map provides an introduction to greenways, such as the cost to build them and different design factors, including trail width and slope. For people interested in learning more about the specifics of greenway planning and design, a number of resources are linked within the story map. The third and final story map, “Capital Area Greenway System Land Use Changes,”, provides an introduction to the National Land Cover Database land use maps. The maps from 2001 and 2016 are used to illustrate land use changes that occur within a quarter mile of the greenway system. The developed land classes experienced the greatest growth in the fifteen year span, while all of the natural land classes, with the exception of open water, experienced losses in the same time period. These three story maps can be used independently or as part of a collection to explore many facets of the Capital Area Greenway system.