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C h a p t e r 7 Forming Partnerships Introduction Within the framework of a visioning process, partnerships often bring together multiple public, private, and civic entities, The broad scope of a visioning effort often involves organiza- including: tions representing concerns well beyond the traditional roles of transportation planning and project agencies. This feature of Transportation interests (state DOTs, MPOs, regional visioning necessitates the formation of partnerships among authorities, local governments, private modal partners, various public, private, and civic organizations, as well as part- and federal agencies); nerships among transportation and resource agencies, and Resource interests (local, regional, state, and federal envi- within a transportation agency itself. Partnerships are gener- ronmental agencies, water or air quality management dis- ally developed to convene and facilitate a visioning process. tricts, conservation and wildlife organizations, and private This may involve a number of internal and external models landholders); and approaches. Elected officials and staff; This chapter describes partnerships formed to prepare, Community interests (public or private partners with create, and implement visioning processes. Key purposes and responsibility for decisions related to land use, economic characteristics of effective partnerships are discussed, based on development, community resources, housing, and related a review of national examples of visioning processes. Potential subjects); partnership models are illustrated, both internal and external Private-sector interests (major employers, industry associa- to the vision's convening organization. tions, or chambers of commerce); and Civic interests (universities, community foundations, neigh- borhood associations, or community groups). What Is Partnering? A partnership brings together diverse groups to achieve a common goal. In the context of this research, that goal is Purposes of Partnerships developing a shared vision. As described in earlier sections Agencies responsible for transportation planning and project illustrating the model Vision Guide, partners are individuals development have traditionally worked within well-defined or organizations with an active and defined role, and with environments with specific responsibilities. In the past, part- influence over the visioning process. Partnerships may be nering has been used most commonly in the construction and formed to leverage financial or in-kind resources for a vision, environmental review stages of transportation project devel- to provide a forum for stakeholder cooperation, or to pro- opment. State DOTs develop partnership agreements with vide executive-level decision-making authority. Most often regulatory agencies to describe the ground rules for working these relationships are informal, and partners are bound by a together, solving problems, and governing dispute resolutions. shared commitment and common interest in a visioning pro- However, recently agencies are increasingly partnering with cess. Partnerships also may be secured formally, for example, resource agencies and other organizations in preconstruction by inviting participation on the board of directors of a vision's activities such as problem identification, planning, design, lead organization or through interagency agreements among and visioning. Partnerships greatly improve the effectiveness public entities. of these integrated and interdisciplinary planning efforts. 53