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Creating a Community Vision

This page provides general guides about developing a vision statement, and includes sample local government vision statements and processes.

Introduction

Community visioning is the process of developing consensus about what future the community wants, and then deciding what is necessary to achieve it. A vision statement captures what community members most value about their community, and the shared image of what they want their community to become. It inspires community members to work together to achieve the vision. A thoughtful vision statement is one of the elements needed to form a forward looking strategic framework that gives councils or boards the long-term-comprehensive perspective necessary to make rational and disciplined tactical/incremental decisions on community issues as they arise. Community vision statements are typically crafted through a collaborative process that involves a wide variety of community residents, stakeholders and elected officials.

As Yogi Berra would say:

"If you don't know where you are going - you might end up someplace else."

Guides

Vision Statements

Concise Statements

Expanded Vision Statements

Vision Statements Focused on Specific Service

Visioning Processes

Washington Cities

  • Lynnwood Moving Forward: Our Community Vision, 2009 - Great description of what visioning is all about, and of Lynnwood's impressive visioning outreach process.
  • Mountlake Terrace A Vision for the Mountlake Terrace Town Center , 2009 - Community roundtable meetings, developer forum, community design workshops, and open houses held to involve citizens in creating an economically healthy and revitalized town center.
  • Sequim 120 Visioning Open House, 2012 - Each workshop accommodated approximately 75 people and included a variety of interactive activities including: "pulse pad" values statement opinion polling; futures mapping; a take-home "word cloud" questionnaire; and an activity focused on transportation values/priorities.

Washington Counties

  • Grays Harbor County Grays Harbor 2020: The Course is Charted! - Includes link to Grays Harbor Vision 2020 Status Report & Action Plan, 2009 - Collaboration involved many partners, and thousands contributed ideas. Well publicized effort - newsletter, forums, speakers bureau, newspaper, TV and radio press coverage including NPR. Status report demonstrates significant progress which is key to maintaining momentum in accomplishing vision. 2010 Governor's Smart Communities Award.
  • Skagit County Envision Skagit 2060 - Citizen Committee Final Report & Recommendations, Governor's 2012 Smart Vision Award. Citizen's committee held listening sessions over the course of 10 months with a variety of groups including the agricultural community, Spanish-speaking community, and youth.

Other States

  • Beaverton, OR Community Vision - Multi award-winning visioning process involved more than 5,000 citizens who shared their aspirations for the future in six languages through events, surveys, forums and other venues. More than 100 community priorities comprise the plan, which 60 community organizations are helping to implement. Includes video and PowerPoint presentation. Less than a year following its adoption, the Community Vision has led to a number of accomplishments including city adoption of the Beaverton Civic Plan, the development of a proposed Urban Renewal Plan, a new Downtown Association, and an International Festival.
  • Golden, CO Community Plans: Golden Vision 2030 - One of a number of Orton Family Foundation funded "Heart and Soul" visioning processes. Scroll to section which includes links to the Golden Vision 2030 Final Report, a document detailing community input.
  • Hillsboro, OR Vision 2020 - Multiple award-winning program

Last Modified: July 31, 2017