Articulate a vision for how the state should grow


To assure that citizens are given a voice in how their state grows and develops, state officials should launch a visioning process to help citizens articulate what they want their state to look like in the future. Successful implementation of smarter growth practices and policies requires a place-based vision and broad public support. Without such a vision, it is difficult for a state to achieve significant results despite strong state leadership, investment, incentives, and partnerships. A vision can help create consensus and build new partnerships in support of a governor's growth agenda. The creation of such a vision may be what enables a state to move beyond incremental improvements to growth and development toward a change in the very nature of growth.


The state government should partner with the non-profit and private sectors to conduct a statewide visioning process, or a visioning process concentrated on key regional or metropolitan centers in the state. The administration should reach out to private sector partners from the business, education, and non-profit sectors and encourage them to initiate or participate in a visioning process. These interests can bring capital and visibility to a visioning effort. Their involvement also can help counter concerns that state involvement in community visioning threatens local control of land use decisions. Organizing these business and community interests around a visioning effort can lead the creation of a permanent non-governmental entity or alliance of organizations that can coordinate the continued advocacy regarding development in the state or key regions within the state.

Alternatively, the state's transportation or planning department could provide grants to metropolitan planning organizations or other regional planning organizations in the state to fund regional visioning efforts. Such a program could engage regional planning entities, provide flexibility in addressing regional variations, and potentially lead to the creation of a number of models that could be disseminated among regions in the state.

However it is done, the visioning effort should incorporate a discussion of how the vision is to be implemented to achieve a set of specific, measurable goals.


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