Strengthening Our Communities: Community Visioning
Community, Professional and Economic Development staff are sharing educational information with Arkansans on public radio through KUAR. The following post recently aired on KUAR, although some edits have been made for airtime.
A Community Visioning process is used by communities to re-imagine or reinvent their path to a desired future.
In this consensus-building process, residents, business owners, elected officials and other stakeholders, work together to identify their assets (things that are working well) and challenges (things that are not working so well).
Regular public meetings allow the community members to explore how these assets can be used to address major challenges and new opportunities. This is important for ensuring community buy in. Assets can be anything from parks or festivals to schools, historic homes or culturally significant tourist destinations.
There are many reasons a community or region engages in this type of process, such as the loss of a major employer or a decline in population.
The Community Visioning process results in realistic goals and action steps necessary to achieve a shared image of what the community wishes to become.
You can learn more about community visioning at uaex.edu.