Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Reality Check
Regional visioning began in the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester region on December 3, 2007, when ULI South Carolina and its partners brought together more than 250 regional, state and national leaders for Reality Check, the area’s first-ever region-wide dialogue about how the region should grow. Leaders came together from the political, business, environmental, real estate and civic realms in a unique visioning and dialogue process aimed at helping the region decide how to accommodate growth in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable so that every new resident, new job and new household enhances the quality of life of every citizen in the region.
In an interactive, multi-disciplinary and non-advocacy setting, Reality Check participants met to talk about how the region can work together to best meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the 265,000 people, 186,000 jobs, and 128,000 households expected here by 2030. This historic wave of growth presents unique opportunities for a bright future, but regional leaders know that job growth and accompanying housing demands also bring challenges. Cultural and natural resources are threatened. Taxpayers are called upon to fund new roads, sewers, and schools, and funding shortfalls across the region mean many residents endure crowded schools, congested roadways, and impacts to public service providers such as fire, EMT, and police services. Meeting these challenges is complicated by the fact that little coordination exists among the many political entities that make growth and development decisions in the region.
At this critical time, the region embarked on a first-ever regional planning process, led by the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) with the intent of creating a “blueprint” for the future growth of the region. Results from Reality Check helped inform this blueprint, and Reality Check partners continue to support the regional planning process.
Reality Check History
The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester (BCD) County Reality Check was seven months in the making, but years of work nationally and at the state level enabled the event’s success. Developed and supported by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the BCD Reality Check was led by ULI South Carolina, BCDCOG, and twenty planning partners.