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A clear vision can provide a sense of direction for stakeholders and ensure that designs support the larger social, economic, and environmental goals of each neighborhood. A balance of technical expertise, global best practices, and input from local residents and business owners can increase support for the project and the sense of ownership in a shared vision.
Use the shared vision as a base to show what is possible and to test new ideas. Inspire participants to achieve collective goals, define actionable steps, and work strategically toward a coordinated outcome.
Having a shared vision can help maintain clear direction when projects and processes face challenges of increased complexity.
Cities adapt and change over time, so it is important to ensure a future vision that is flexible and robust in the face of growth, development, unforeseen decline, and climate change challenges.
Who Can Set Vision?
Local, Regional, and National Government Officials
Where to Start
Identify actionable steps and interim targets toward achieving a shared vision. Start with project elements that have clear community and political support, where the demonstrated need is the greatest, or the potential impact is the strongest.
Look, Listen, and Learn
Listen to what people have to say about an area; many of them use the streets every day and know them more intimately than other stakeholders. Use various transportation modes when doing field work to consider different user experiences. Identify how areas within the project site function differently. Identify best practices from other places and ask how they might be relevant if adapted to the local context.
Engage relevant agencies and local organizations to develop a shared project vision. Understand how they shape and use streets and what matters most to them. Host workshops and meetings, and engage many groups to participate in the process.
Challenge Existing Perspectives
Be bold in questioning existing perspectives, practices, and procedures that shape streets. These have led to the current existing conditions and a different future will require different processes.
Identify Shared Goals
Set the goals and targets together. Allow flexibility for streets to adapt and change over time while still allowing the goals to be relevant.
Set Actions and Timelines
Be specific about what you want to achieve. Provide clear shortand medium-term targets that allow the shared vision to be realized.
Foster and create new partnerships in which different groups can share resources, stay informed, and work together toward shared visions.
Balance the big-picture goals with an understanding of what is realistic given the existing constraints, practices, procedures, and budgets.
Identify metrics relevant to the project vision and use these to set goals and targets.
Share the action plan for the project and the intended steps and timelines in place to achieve it. Develop a communication strategy to keep the public informed so that they can be a part of the process of achieving change.
Find somewhere to start to demonstrate quick wins and achievable change in order to build momentum and trust. Consider pilot, temporary, or interim solutions as a first step.
Identify Priorities to Shape the Vision
Based on Need
Based on Destination
To Align with Other Projects
To Attract Other Investment
Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.
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