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4 a means for a practitioner to access information on these elements that run through all the phases and many activity areas. The following are the elements of the Vision Guide: Phases help organize any process. The first phase (Preparing the Vision) includes initial orga- nizational and management activities. The second phase (Creating the Vision) focuses on the role of technical activities and stakeholder involvement in creating vision outcome. The third phase (Implementing the Vision) provides the framework for achieving and measuring prog- ress toward the vision. Activity areas summarize the critical activities, organize key components, and communicate actions that occur within each phase. Activities are illustrated with high-level, strategic guidance and provide a number of example products and processes from prior visioning processes. Components are key elements of a successful vision process, providing a framework for struc- turing the project's major research tasks. Each component is linked directly to a set of relevant Activity Areas, highlighting relevant steps within the vision process. Each component is described in more detail in the following chapter. Key decisions are transition points within any visioning process, representing critical mile- stones or junctures. Decisions are often opportunities to reach consensus on a vision outcome and may provide important linkages to other processes, plans, or procedures. These decisions provide a bridge to the key decision points outlined in the TCAPP Decision Guide. Vision Guide Components The components of the Vision Guide cover the primary focus areas of this research project and are intended to help practitioners apply these research findings within a visioning process. The four component areas are considering communities, reaching stakeholders, forming partner- ships, and tracking commitments. Within the T-VIZ project website, these components provide a filter through which to view the process and assess the activity areas relevant to each compo- nent topic. The practitioner may then drill down to access additional information, processes, tools, resources, and web links within these focal areas. Considering Communities Visioning offers communities the opportunity to express a desired future quality of life. Trans- portation is just one of many factors and variables that shape quality of life and community livability. The relationship between transportation decisions and community context is com- plex, and discussion is often limited to the impacts, costs, or benefits of improvements. In con- trast, visioning offers the opportunity to understand better how transportation systems may shape the preferred future of a community, whether through urban form, livability, or economic competitiveness. Understanding, measuring, and communicating these concepts of quality of life is an important aspect of a visioning process, which often employs innovative tools and techniques to measure existing community conditions, forecast likely conditions, and track progress toward a desired future based on shared goals and values. Research within the consider- ing communities component provides an organization framework to help the practitioner begin considering communities within a visioning process through the use of tools, techniques, and indicators that describe community context and quality of life. Reaching Stakeholders The reaching stakeholders component provides guidance to practitioners for selecting involve- ment tools and techniques to use in a visioning process. This research will assist practitioners in reviewing emerging best practices and in selecting appropriate outreach tools to develop a vision, reach nontraditional stakeholders, and leverage new technologies and resources. Visioning