Golden Vision 2030 is a comprehensive visioning plan that engages a broad spectrum of the community to deeply explore the City’s character, strengths and opportunities for change, with a focus on planning at the neighborhood level.
Golden, Colorado is a vibrant, succesful town on the outskirts of Denver. Its success is tied to a history of progressive leadership and civic engagement. In the last few years, Golden’s planning initiatives have emphasized citizen engagement and quality of life as residents have created task forces to tackle issues like walkability, master planning for bike routes and housing affordability. An important 2006 survey focused on identifying community priorities and led to a subsequent citizen-based Sustainability Initiative, boosting citizen engagement and participation. The City has also worked hard to involve the community in traffic planning and other initiatives through effective e-government systems that serve as a web-based portal, information source and public feedback mechanism for all the City’s activities.
The City’s newest initiative—Golden Vision 2030— engaged a broad spectrum of the community to more deeply explore the City’s character, strengths and opportunities for change. That process helped residents develop a vision for the City’s future, which will informed a Vision 2030 Plan and citizen-driven action steps while neighborhood planning processes engaged more citizens and enhanced the community at a grassroots level.
Golden’s Vision 2030 initiative approached public outreach using innovative approaches and tools for engagement. Project leaders continue to involve the widest possible cross-section of residents, organizations and networks in exploring and describing the characteristics that make the community special. The project used a wide variety of storytelling techniques and events, designed to help the community come together, identify deeply-held values and discuss issues important to all citizens. A local advisory group steered Golden Vision 2030, and a project coordination team employed by the City oversaw day-to-day operations of the initiative.
Many of the project activities occured at the neighborhood level, with the goal of bringing together residents, discussing issues that matter to each individual neighborhood and developing new Neighborhood Plans. The City used a variety of innovative projects, like block parties that brought together residents in each neighborhood to help define neighborhood boundaries and add their stories and ideas to the process. Neighborhoods now keep in touch using the online platform i-neighbors.
The focus of the project is an overarching 20-year vision and recommendations, based on the community’s heart and soul. Those recommendations will be implemented through updates to Golden’s Comprehensive Plan, Strategic Plan and Downtown Character Plan, and through enforceable Neighborhood Plans. Implementation activities will occur over several years, and the City has seen noticeable successes in the first two years.