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32 Formal recognition of a preferred future better enables the and act on as part of an approved commitment. That commit- transfer of vision products into the planning and develop- ment may then transfer into the project development process ment efforts of transportation and other resource agencies. and be clearly communicated and tracked by stakeholders. For example, visioning processes that produce preferred future land use maps may readily transfer to the transporta- Adopt Update Process tion modeling efforts of MPOs and long-range transporta- tion planning processes. Adopted futures might also inform Establishing an update process provides an important future the scope of future planning processes by helping agencies opportunity to revisit and revise the vision to meet the com- determine community context, define conservation land munity's evolving priorities. This decision point is often used areas, determine future transportation investment prefer- to mark the culmination of visioning activities, with the under ences, or suggest the land use and development patterns to be standing that visions are intended to be active processes, not supported by a future transportation system. static plans, that may influence decisions and activities of partners and stakeholders decades later. To aid the future relevance of a vision, a clear understanding of the responsi- Approve Indicators and Commitments bility, timeline, and scope for updating the vision should be Implementation of a vision may be one of the more challeng- established. ing aspects of any process. Implementation necessitates actions Adoption of a plan for revisiting the vision should be com- on a range of issues, may encompass many jurisdictions and pleted by the leadership of the sponsoring organization or by regulatory agencies, and requires the continued involvement those responsible for organizing ongoing efforts. That com- of many partners and stakeholders. Two critical tools for mitment should be clearly documented and communicated advancing implementation efforts include the application of to stakeholders as a future opportunity to reassess efforts. indicators and the tracking of commitments. Reaching a point Vision update processes are often adopted as part of the final of consensus approval for either of these tools provides a vision products, with the support and recognition of proj- framework for embarking, monitoring, measuring, communi- ect partners. For example, a vision update process could be cating, and revisiting the outcomes of a visioning process. adopted that is timed to coincide with updates to a local gov- Indicators are measures, benchmarks, criteria, and commit- ernment comprehensive plan or an MPO's long-range trans- ments that provide information on current community condi- portation plan, thus ensuring that the goals and outcomes of tions, assess impacts of alternative futures, and inform processes the vision are revisited on a periodic basis and in full coop- to monitor and report efforts toward implementing the vision. eration with partners. Reporting progress toward achieving the vision or commit- ments made to act on the vision, is critical to assessing results Component Areas of and establishing priorities for implementation. Selecting and the Vision Guide approving indicators is the first step in establishing a compre- hensive progress-reporting framework. Approval of indicators Four component areas are represented within the Vision Guide, may be sought from leadership of the sponsoring agency, proj- each addressing an important element of visioning, and serve ect partners, or stakeholders involved in early phases of the pro- to link the project research objectives: cess. Approved indicators provide the basis for continually monitoring the status of implementation efforts, for docu- Considering Communities; menting the successes and challenges of the vision, for legiti- Reaching Stakeholders; mating continued efforts, or for adjusting priorities. Forming Partnerships; and Commitments include statements of the convening organi- Tracking Commitments. zation to act on the goals, objectives, or actions identified by the vision, agreement from transportation and resource agencies The component elements are linked within the online inter- to integrate the vision into planning processes, or pledges of active Vision Guide and are intended to help practitioners see elected officials and public governments to recognize the vision. how these specific efforts evolve and emerge through the Approval of these actions is a critical step in implementation course of the entire vision process. In the Vision Guide avail- and, once made, can be publicized and clearly communicated able in the online project website, each component area is to stakeholders to provide accountability and reduce potential represented by highlighting significant activity areas. The fol- for misunderstanding. Approved commitments may be readily lowing images and descriptions explain the component areas transferred to tracking processes or related transportation plan- as included in the online Vision Guide. For more details on ning processes. For example, a vision may result in an alterna- the topics covered by each component, please see the corre- tive roadway improvement design that a DOT agrees to evaluate sponding chapters of this report.

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33 Considering Communities Reaching stakeholders is an important aspect of a vision- ing process and is significant in early steps to establish rela- This component area highlights activity areas relevant to tionships, critical when creating the vision, and important to determining community context, livability, and quality of implementation efforts. Accessing this component through life. In Figure 4.5, related activity areas are darkened. the project website provides access to a variety of outreach Considering community livability and communicating tools and techniques, including web links to real-world exam- context through the use of indicators is an important aspect ples from visioning processes. These tools and techniques are of a visioning process. Community indicators are used in drawn from the matrix included in Chapter 6 and are selected preparing the vision to provide baseline information; in cre- to best represent the tools and techniques applied within each ating the vision to help stakeholders evaluate future alterna- highlighted activity area. tives; and in implementing the vision to help gauge progress toward the vision. Within the online Vision Guide, practitio- ners have access to a variety of real-world tools and examples Forming Partnerships used in community impact assessment and indirect cumula- For practitioners interested in the importance, purposes, and tive effect practices. These tools are drawn from the research possible structures for forming partnerships, this component documented in Chapter 5 and Appendix C. area reveals key activity areas. In Figure 4.7, related activity areas are darkened. Reaching Stakeholders Partnerships are crucial to the success of a visioning effort, and are often the most lasting outcome of a collaborative A practitioner interested in stakeholder involvement and effort. Forming partnerships early in a process is important outreach activities within a visioning process may use the to build broad support, secure resources, and develop orga- reaching stakeholders component to focus on key activities. nizational structures. When implementing the vision, partner In Figure 4.6, related activity areas are darkened. ships with decision makers, key stakeholders, and elected Figure 4.5. Considering communities component area.

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34 Figure 4.6. Reaching stakeholders component area. Figure 4.7. Forming partnerships component area.

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35 Figure 4.8. Tracking commitments component area. officials can be critical to achieving the goals of the vision. ing the vision, the foundation of commitment tracking is built, Within the online Vision Guide, practitioners have access to and then it is applied in practice when implementing the summary strategies and potential partnering structures asso- vision. Within the online Vision Guide, practitioners have ciated with each salient activity area. In addition, real-world access to summary guidance related to developing a model examples of partnerships are linked within the description of commitment tracking process, including linkages between a relevant activities. This information is drawn from research tracking program and the steps in the visioning process. This conducted for this report and detailed in Chapter 7. information is drawn from research discussed in Chapter 8, which includes a full description of the model tracking process. Chapters 5 through 8 provide the research findings that Tracking Commitments informed the structure of the Vision Guide and support the For practitioners interested in tracking commitments, this tools, resources, and strategies that are found within each component area highlights key activity areas and provides an activity area. These chapters are organized using the four integrated model commitment tracking process. In Figure 4.8, visioning component topics. As such, they are modular and related activity areas are darkened. can be read independently, depending on a user's interest or Commitment tracking, otherwise known as implementa- specific area of concern. The end of each chapter provides tion monitoring or performance reporting, is of increasing specific detail about how the component relates to the rele- interest to visioning practitioners. In preparing for and creat- vant activity areas in the Vision Guide.