Last week we discussed the visioning process and it’s importance in planning the future of communities. Visions and the visioning process allow planners and residents decide on what the future of a community should be and how that goal can be accomplished. This could mean attempting to keep the community as it is going into the future or finding ways to redefine the community for the better. It depends on what the residents of the community want for their future.
There are many ways to create plans for the future of a community but the most effective seem to involve interactive design and community involvement. To understand a community and where it’s going in the future, the residents should be involved and be able to give their input. This link leads to the EPA’s page on the planning process and focuses on the creation of a vision statement. According to the EPA, creating a vision statement is necessary in the planning process and provides the basis for positive change. A big part of the EPA’s guide to vision statements is community involvement. It allows for the collection of diverse viewpoints, discovering the residents interests, and defining the assets of the community. Once the residents have expressed their view of the community and where they want it to head, scenarios can be developed that can lead to a comprehensive vision that incorporates the interests of the community into a plan for the future.
A common problem with planning for the future is the difficulty in making the vision that the residents have for the community come true. I found this non-profit organization that is focused on increasing the openness with which public agencies operate to improve the efficiency of planning. By promoting public agencies from different areas to share their findings and processes, good ideas could be shared more easily and communities could be improved more efficiently. Opening up more public data would also promote more community involvement in the planning process.