At first glance, William M. Rohe, bone fide professor and author of The Research Triangle: From Tobacco Road to Global Prominence, doesn' t seem to have much in common with the ersatz Professor Harold Hill of "The Music Man" fame. But both professors have a talent for drumming up interest in civic issues.
Rohe's work is getting a lot of attention in North Carolina, especially from media personality D. G. Martin. Martin interviewed Rohe for the 1360 WCHL radio program Who's Talking? With D.G. Martin. The interview will air today at 6:15 p.m. Martin also praised The Research Triangle in his column which appeared in North Carolina newspapers such as the Herald-Sun.
"North Carolinians outside the Research Triangle region envy its economic success and cultural assets. But don’t get too jealous," wrote Martin in his article We got trouble right here in River City. "The very success of the Triangle brings challenges that, if unmet, will topple the Triangle’s place as North Carolina’s capstone example of successful economic development. The Triangle’s dilemmas are the focus of The Research Triangle: From Tobacco Road to Global Prominence, a new book by William Rohe, director of the Center for Urban & Regional Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. . . . Rohe enthusiastically catalogues the benefits the Park brought to the region, including the high-value businesses, the high-paying jobs, and the leveraged economic activity that results from them. However, Rohe’s most important message to North Carolinians is like that of Professor Hill in 'The Music Man,' who asserted to complacent townspeople, 'We got trouble right here in River City.' Much of the trouble in the Triangle is a result of the region’s success. The low-density, sprawling housing patterns and crowded traffic routes cannot sustain the projected population growth of the region."