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25 Figure 4.1. Key elements of the Vision Guide. Description of Vision Why are we doing this? Within this activity area, the prac- Guide Elements titioner's responsibility is to identify key interests and stake- holders, begin developing relationships, and build support for Phase One: Preparing the Vision the vision. For the practitioner, initial preparation activities focus on Conduct early outreach. Engaging stakeholders and part- developing the necessary support and institutional structure ners early helps develop interest and ownership in the pro- to launch and maintain a successful visioning process. Estab- cess and assists in building a compelling case for a vision. lishing this framework for action involves answering the Cultivating public champions among influential leaders critical questions: Why should a community engage in vision- from public, private, and civic sectors provides essential ing? What is the purpose and focus of the vision? How will support for the vision. For more information on tools and the vision be organized? Who should be involved? techniques to reach stakeholders, see Chapter 6. To resolve these process questions, a practitioner must Frame problem statement. Articulating the need and con- reach out to stakeholders, assess partnerships, identify key text for a vision sets the stage for and direction of future issues, secure commitments, establish an organizational struc- efforts. The need for visioning often arises in cases in which ture, and develop a scope of work. These steps are typically the desired planning focus is on long-term challenges and undertaken in planning exercises but may hold additional solutions, not present-day problems. Visioning may be significance in an interdisciplinary, inclusive, and innovative well suited in contexts in which particularly sensitive issues visioning process. This phase includes organizational, mana- are best addressed through an inclusive process. gerial, and foundational activities that are the responsibility of the convening organization. Figure 4.2 illustrates the activ- What has been done? Within this activity area, the practi- ity areas in this phase. tioner's role is to review existing resources diligently, to inform

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26 Figure 4.2. Phase One: Preparing the Vision. the development of the process, and to identify existing net- Determine key issues. Establishing significant community works as opportunities for future collaboration. considerations, key priorities, or driving research questions informs the scale and scope of a visioning process. This Review prior plans and visions. Taking stock of previous activity helps focus the vision and direct future outreach, planning efforts, research, or previous visions is an impor- partnering, and organizational efforts. tant near-term action to provide background for a vision- Identify study area. Developing an understanding of com- ing process. Related work may provide direct input when munity boundaries will shape the scale of the visioning determining critical issues, developing relationships with process, as well as determine the stakeholders and partners stakeholders, or revealing the value of updating a pre- involved. This activity also includes establishing a com- existing vision rather than developing a new process. Back- mon community identity, which may be a component of ground research also may assist in assessing data on existing early stakeholder engagement efforts. conditions and potential future trends, for use in later Establish desired outcomes. Managing expectations of par- activities. ticipants, setting objectives, and reaching agreement on Assess existing partnerships. Building on existing relation- a project's purpose are important early activities. Docu- ships is an effective means to engage partners or to establish menting outcomes may help reduce conflict among stake- an organizational structure for a vision. Key stakeholders holders later in the process, may guide the scope of work, already may be coordinating within a community and pro- and may establish early objectives. vide ready partnership models. What are our resources? Within this activity, the practi- What is important? Within this activity, the practitioner's tioner's role is to develop a compelling case for involvement responsibility is to develop a set of shared community con- and to secure resource commitments from partners. cerns or issues, to facilitate a common understanding of the community, and to reach agreement on the desired outcomes Develop a business case. Assessing the possible outcomes of of the visioning process. involvement in a visioning process will help transportation

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27 agencies evaluate their preferred role and level of support. a brand and web presence, and presenting information For potential funding partners, involved stakeholders, or to community members should be part of a public par- the general community, a business case may be presented ticipation and outreach strategy. Outcomes may include based on expected advantages of completing a vision. public communications materials, media materials, a web- Chapter 2 provides guidance and decision factors for agen- site, and related branding materials. A complete matrix cies to evaluate their role in a process. of available outreach tools and techniques is available in Secure partner commitments. Initiating and maintaining a Chapter 6. vision requires the resources of partners, both in financial Establish timeline and milestones. Communicating the vision- support and technical assistance. Securing contributions ing process's purpose, procedures, and decision points may be accomplished through establishing partnering struc- helps clearly convey expectations to partners and the pub- tures, negotiating financing for the convening organization, lic. At the initiation of the vision, the public and partners or by securing pledges of in-kind assistance. should be fully informed of the anticipated timetable of the process. Who will we involve, and how? Within this activity, the practitioner's responsibility is to clearly establish the lead sponsor for the visioning process, to reach agreement on the Phase Two: Creating the Vision representatives and process structure for collaborative deci- For the practitioner, this phase leads to the creation of the sion making, and to define the partnerships and structures final vision products, and includes the best-known activities best suited to fulfilling desired objectives. of conducting a vision. The critical questions that frame this phase are simple in theory, yet complex in practice. The crit- Establish convener. Convening a visioning process should ical questions, or process steps, are as follows: be the responsibility of a primary convening organization. Visioning processes are time- and resource-intensive and Where are we now? are more likely to be successful with dedicated staff and Where are we going? support resources. Where do we want to be? Define decision-making structure. Moving a visioning process How will we get there? forward cannot often occur without agreement from multi- ple partners and interests. A defined decision structure, such These statements form the core of a visioning process, as an advisory committee, board of directors, or core partner which seeks to generate future policy direction from a shared group, with clear roles, responsibilities, and expectations is base of understanding. critical to the legitimacy and longevity of a vision. Develop partnership models. Gaining the cooperation of the Technical activities are a focus within this area and include data collection and analyses, modeling and scenario-planning many stakeholders and representatives involved in a vision- ing process often requires the creation of new partnerships, techniques, and indicator development. Typically, scenario- or developing the capacity of existing networks. Partner- planning actions use early community input and descriptions ships may be pursued to fulfill distinct purposes, ranging of current trends--in contrast with alternative futures--to from enabling decisions, securing resources, implement- enable public comment and agreement on a preferred future. ing commitments, or engaging groups of stakeholders. For Significant stakeholder outreach and public engagement more information on forming partnerships, see Chapter 7. also are conducted to assess preferences and to develop con- sensus vision outcomes. Other actions include leadership What is our approach? Within this activity, the practi- engagement and consensus building. The end result of the tioner's responsibility is to develop a structured approach, to activities in this phase is most often a concise statement of a craft a public engagement strategy, and to communicate proj- preferred future, accompanied by additional products such ect expectations to the public. as decision principles, descriptive maps, long-term goals and objectives, or other guidelines for implementation. Figure 4.3 Develop scope of work. Planning and managing activities are highlights the activity areas in this phase. critical to a successful process. Ideally, a scope should estab- Where are we now? Within this activity, the practitioner's lish a detailed, phased approach that allows for reassess- responsibility is to collect information on current conditions ments at critical junctures. A wide range of strategies and within the community, and to define and develop indicators activities are available to complete key visioning elements to assess those conditions and possible alternatives. such as scenario-planning, outreach efforts, and communi- cation of outcomes under any resource constraints. Gather baseline information. Compiling and sharing infor- Develop outreach strategy. Focusing early outreach efforts on mation on a community is the basis for creating the vision. building networks, developing media contacts, establishing Data may include statistics and geographic information,

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28 Figure 4.3. Phase Two: Creating the Vision. interviews with community leaders, or public opinion and Document trends. Providing information on probable future values surveys. The purpose is to provide a starting point for trends helps participants in a visioning process assess their the issues and values discussions that will occur in later steps. choices and determine preferences. Historic and projected Define and develop indicators. Providing a basis for judg- data may be used to help frame problem statements, deter- ment is important to help participants fully understand mine priorities, and develop alternatives. the trade-offs, alternatives, impacts, and potential futures Develop goals and guiding principles. Building consensus assessed later in the process. Often indicators are related to around long-term goals, objectives, or guiding principles key issues and are intended to convey statements of future may be challenging, but it will provide significant direc- direction and quality, rather than quantity or output. Indi- tion for the visioning process. Community goals are often cators also provide valuable benchmarks for comparisons formed through interactive public input opportunities or later progress reporting. For a discussion of indicators such as workshops and meetings. and measures, see Chapter 5. Refine values and issues. Reflecting agreement on the values Where do we want to be? Within this activity, the practi- and issues to be addressed in the visioning process pro- tioner's responsibility is to identify alternatives for consider- vides an opportunity to build public input and support for ation and develop representations of those alternatives for the vision. This activity may take the form of interactive assessment, to engage participants creatively in a process to opportunities for the public to help establish community provide input on alternatives, and to reach consensus on a core values and significant considerations. preferred future(s). Where are we going? Within this activity, the practitio- Identify and evaluate potential futures. Developing alter- ner's responsibility is to inform participants of future trends native futures helps the public make informed choices. and policy choices, and to reach agreement on common goals The process for identifying alternatives for analysis, rep- that inform the development of the vision. resenting those alternatives creatively, and then evaluating

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29 alternatives based on established values and indicators Phase Three: Implementing the Vision should be iterative, collaborative, and innovative. Poten- For the practitioner, this phase focuses on identifying specific tial products within this activity range from involved, tech- nical modeling efforts to simple, illustrative representations. actions, roles, and responsibilities to advance the vision into Solicit public and stakeholder input. Providing the public reality. Activities may include endorsement of the vision by the opportunity to view, assess, and provide preferences on elected officials and key stakeholders, transferring vision out- alternative futures is a hallmark of many visioning pro- comes into related planning processes, or conducting outreach cesses. For the best results, the process of engaging the to significant partners to maintain the relevance and effective- public, soliciting input, and utilizing that input should be ness of the vision over time. Progress made toward the vision structured, transparent, and genuine. Interactive, targeted and the status of commitments of partners and agencies is outreach and engagement strategies are often used to pro- tracked and communicated to the public as a means to vide creative opportunities for involvement. demonstrate tangible outcomes. Develop a consensus future. Collecting, refining, and utiliz- The purpose of implementation is to achieve progress in ing public input in developing a consensus future is a crit- realizing the vision, but equally important is the creation of ical activity within the visioning process. Without a clear lasting structures, partnerships, and processes for continued process to accept input in developing a common future, cooperation. Figure 4.4 highlights the activity areas in this the entire process may disintegrate. Representation of the phase. consensus future, whether by illustration, vision statement, How will we realize our vision? Within this activity, the selected alternative, or set of goals must reflect the input practitioner's responsibility is to link the vision and commu- provided and be developed with transparent decision mak- nity goals to actionable objectives, to assist in the integration ing and communication. of broad vision guidance to specific efforts of partners, and to document commitments to be tracked. How will we get there? Within this activity, the practi- tioner's responsibility is to finalize value, goal, and principle Develop objectives and actions. Long- and near-term objec- statements in support of the vision; to document, communi- tives and action steps may be identified by utilizing the cate, and distribute the final vision outcome; and to provide information collected during the visioning exercise. Actions guidance on priorities and responsibilities to move the vision should be linked to identified values, goals, and principle into implementation stages. statements to provide a basis for progress toward the vision. Integrate vision into processes and plans. Linking vision out- Revise goals and guiding principles. Matching community comes and implementation guidance into the efforts of part- goals identified earlier to the preferred future(s) estab- ners provides an important bridge from high-level visions to lishes the path forward in the visioning process. Values, ground-level processes and plans. Vision outcomes may be goals, issues, and principles may be aligned with the con- formally adopted by partners, provide direct inputs into sensus alternatives to provide guidance on the priority planning stages, or be reflected in the decisions and docu- issues to be acted upon during implementation. This itera- ments of partners. Chapter 9 includes additional details on tive process allows for public input and consensus building linking vision outcome to transportation planning and in preparation of communicating the outcomes of the development processes. vision. Secure partner commitments. Documenting and commu- Describe vision outcome. Developing a unified, concise nicating commitments is critical to establishing imple- statement of vision, or supporting vision products, helps mentation roles and providing momentum to transfer achieve the purpose of strategic visioning, which is to pro- responsibility for implementation to partners. vide guidance for future decisions. Communication of final outcomes to participants, stakeholders, and partners How will we stay on track? Within this activity, the prac- is an important component of this activity. titioner's responsibility is to maintain relationships, partner- Establish implementation priorities: Moving from vision to ships, and networks; to develop a clear commitment tracking reality requires attainable goals, actionable objectives, and process to ensure accountability; and to reach agreement on measurable outcomes. With the momentum of crafting a process to assess progress continually. the shared vision, the roles and responsibilities of part- ners should be identified, working groups established, and Maintain public and stakeholder relationships. Recognizing resources dedicated toward implementation. These activi- partner and public contributions to the visioning process ties provide the framework for handing off the vision into and communicating opportunities for future involvement the implementation phase. are critical to maintaining interest in the vision. Developing

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30 Figure 4.4. Phase Three: Implementing the Vision. post-vision leadership programs, recognition awards, or Communicating progress may mean developing performance involvement opportunities are some activities employed measures and indicators or may include anecdotal stories of to maintain the relationships developed in the previous success that help inspire action. phase. How will we maintain our vision? Within this activity, the Develop commitment tracking process. Developing a trans- practitioner's responsibility is to establish a framework and parent, adaptable commitment tracking process within the process to sustain the vision over time. sponsoring organization or within participating public agencies helps ensure that the vision is acted on and any Refine implementation strategy. Judging progress through benefits to an agency, such as improved public perception, commitment tracking and performance measurement pro- are maintained. Model commitment tracking processes vides direct feedback into reassessment of implementation are discussed in greater detail in Chapter 8. priorities and strategies. Monitored commitments may be Establish measurement process. Reporting progress toward fulfilled and retired, or reassessed and prioritized, depend- the vision is critical to judging results and establishing pri- ing on the status of implementation. orities for implementation. A measurement process should Refresh partnerships. Providing motivation to act on a vision, identify the indicators to be reported, responsibilities for sometimes decades after development, requires that part- data collection, and a period of consistent measurement ners are continually reengaged in vision implementation moving forward. efforts. Strategies to accomplish this include recognition of achievements, collaboration on specific objectives, updates What have we accomplished? Within this activity, the to certain elements of the vision, and other outreach meth- practitioner's responsibility is to provide information and ods to maintain strong community partnerships. updates on the status of the vision, the state of the commu- Identify new opportunities: Ongoing environmental scan- nity, and progress toward implementation. Continuing to ning and strategy development may help identify new monitor, measure, and report progress toward the vision is a opportunities for the convening organization or for the powerful tool for continuing efforts and adjusting priorities. partnerships developed during the visioning process.