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24 development processes are all examples of users that for creating, and implementing a vision, to provide a complete one reason or another were not an active participant but model process. are able to accept the outcomes of the visioning process in subsequent activities. Organization of the Vision Guide Transportation agency perspective: A transportation agency can participate in a vision process through any of the roles The graphic illustration of the Vision Guide is organized described above. into three phases of critical activities and key decisions. Together, these phases and activities represent a complete process for conducting a vision but are not necessarily Overview of the Vision Guide sequential, and many may be acted upon independently or The Vision Guide summarizes a model visioning process to concurrently. To accommodate the diverse interests of prac- better enable practitioners to engage in visioning in support titioners and the varied scope and scale of visioning pro- of transportation planning. The guide is the result of the cesses, the information contained within this model process initial project research aim to develop a model visioning can be accessed at multiple levels and for different purposes. process that may be applied throughout any community or A practitioner may select individual activities or view com- planning process. However, no two visioning process are ponents or particular focus areas directly related to the identical, because all must adapt to the unique community research aims of the project. context in which they occur. There are basic phases, process The following descriptions introduce each element of the steps activities, focus areas, and key decisions common to Vision Guide. any process, and it is this high-level, critical information which is represented here. The process depicted in the Phases help organize a vision. The first phase, Preparing Vision Guide was developed based on extensive research, the Vision, includes organizational and management literature reviews, and discussions with experts in commu- activities to prepare for the visioning process. The second nity visioning. phase, Creating the Vision, focuses on technical activities Currently, there is no common definition of a visioning and stakeholder involvement in the development of the process, although those in use all exhibit common elements. final vision outcome or products. The third phase, Imple- The earliest, and clearest, description of a model process comes menting the Vision, provides the framework for following from a project in Portland, Oregon, from the early 1990s through on the vision. (Ames 1993). The conceptual foundation of community Activity areas are the basic steps of a vision. These areas visioning can be illustrated through four simple questions: include multiple critical activities, products, strategies, and actions. Areas are building blocks of a vision and are Where are we now? ordered logically, however they may be acted upon con- Where are we going? currently or independently. Where do we want to be? Components are specific focus areas relevant to a vision. How do we get there? These themes provide a framework for addressing cer- tain topics and are linked to relevant activity areas. Four This theme is repeated in the many existing process defi- components are represented--considering communities, nitions for strategic visioning and scenario-based planning reaching stakeholders, forming partnerships, and tracking and has since been used in countless efforts. These questions commitments--and are drawn from the research pre- form the core of the Vision Guide but also represent a view sented throughout this technical report. of visioning that is limited to the process of creating the Decisions points represent transitions within a vision. Deci- vision outcome. The Vision Guide expands this process to sions may represent critical milestones or junctures and address the critical questions a practitioner must address in often provide key opportunities to reach consensus on preparing for and implementing the vision. Activities to pre- a vision outcome or provide important linkages to other pare for a vision are significant and influence the outcomes processes or plans. of the scenario-based planning aspects of vision develop- ment, yet they are often not incorporated in vision processes Figure 4.1 is a graphic depiction of the Vision Guide, or scopes of work. Similarly, the activities necessary to carry highlighting the structure of the process. Vision phases are the vision into reality are underemphasized in current litera- represented by three columns, activity areas are represented ture and in practical examples from around the country. by chevrons, and decision points are represented by gray The Vision Guide presents a unified approach to preparing, boxes.