Visioning is a community engagement process that helps people to articulate or define the future they want for their communities. Visioning is often completed in conjunction with a master planning initiative and often looks decades ahead.
Community visioning is defined very differently by each community or organization undertaking it. Components of a vision often include goals for population growth and development; targeted land uses in different parts of a community; ways to attract diversity; differentiation of wanted and unwanted growth and development; and new ideas for community services, institutions, or identity.
Projects vary significantly, but a typical process would include public announcements to initiate the idea, a committee to design and run the visioning process, a series of meetings or surveys to gain feedback from the community, drafting of a vision statement or plan, review of the plan by the community, and finally multiple stages of revision, further review, and discussions about how to proceed.
Stages may be facilitated by professional consultants, and the process may include other events such as community festivals or creative arts-based and participatory tools.
“The Oregon Model” for visioning was developed by Steven Ames, one of the top planners and consultants in the community visioning field. He builds a visioning process around key questions/steps: