There is the famous quote credited to Alexander Hamilton that says, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” We believe this is extremely relevant for cities. Without a clear and bold vision built upon deep and equitable engagement, as well as realistic constraints, a community is highly susceptible to change that is dictated by others.
Developing a strong community vision with shared buy-in can serve as a decision-making filter for everything that follows. Future development, land use, events, staffing, branding, and marketing decision can all be held up against the vision plan to assist in making the right call on daily decisions that move you ever further towards realizing that vision.
A community with a shared vision that is developed through community engagement and stakeholder involvement will always be stronger than a community that simply lets growth and change happen to it.
Community visioning can be a stand-alone project or done on the front half of a community-wide branding effort or comprehensive plan. However, the CivicBrand approach is far more in-depth than that what you see in most comp plans or master plans. Those typically result in a somewhat generic vision statement that is watered down enough to not really offend anyone but also doesn’t inspire anyone.
Cities are complex and have a wide range of viewpoints – oftentimes opposing viewpoints. Our process fully engages all of those stakeholders and builds a community vision around the shared values and vision for that community while allowing the freedom and flexibility for true differences.