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Majna Dukic Urban Studies and Planning University of California, San Diego. Deciding Our Futures: Engaging in Regional Visions. What is being used to include communities in Regional Planning visions and does it work? . Findings: What is being done to engage the community?. Methods:
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Urban Studies and Planning
University of California, San Diego
Deciding Our Futures: Engaging in Regional Visions
What is being used to include communities in Regional Planning visions and does it work?
What is being done to engage the community?
More and more cities are choosing to implement a Regional Visioning Effort to help guide them into the future. Most efforts state community engagement and involvement as a major factor that they choose to focus on, but how much is the community really incorporated into this process? What methods are used to achieve public participation, what works? This study looked at the factors that regional visioning efforts are focusing on, if any, in terms of community involvement, with a focus on implementation, length of involvement, availability of information, and the degree to which they include these in their visioning efforts. This was done through qualitative research using archival analysis of three Regional Visioning Efforts and interviews with experts involved with these efforts. Through this process it was found that Regional Visioning efforts are claiming that they involve the community to a great extent, while there are some that go above and beyond, most involvement has a primary focus on planning meetings. The public isn’t provided with a variety of choices when it comes to participation and there needs to be an even greater focus on community involvement in the future.
“Communities should have a say in their futures”-
The research suggests that the best method to engage communities in regional planning visions is to use a combination of public meetings, surveys, and online tools. Regions tend to depend on a single tool, like public meetings, to engage communities but they need to consider the potential negative effects or barriers that may arise from only using one type of engagement. Engagement is cited as a priority in many visions, including the three looked at in this project, and the process needs to be refined and considered from many different angles if we want the vision to be truly representative of the community’s wants and needs.
Stemming from The San Diego Foundation’s Our Greater San Diego Vision project this study looks into other regional visioning efforts around the country. Regional Visions are an important aspect of helping design our futures, and the people of a community should have the opportunity to have a say in their futures.
Brilliot Michael. Senior Planner for Envision San Jose 2040. December 2, 2011
Aleman Erin. Principal Planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. January 9, 2012
Cohen Cassie. Portland Vision PDX Team member. January 23, 2012
Regional Vision Documents
“City of San Jose Planning Division Envision San Jose 2040.” Web. 27 Jan 2012. http://www.sanjoseca.gov/planning/gp_update/
“Regional Vision -- Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.” Web. 27 Jan 2012. http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/regional-vision
“Vision into Action.” Web. 27 Jan 2012. http://www.visionpdx.com/
Table 1: Summary of collected data from regional vision plans.
Selected plans rated on a scale from 1-5