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Where Do We Want To Be?

Where Are We Now? | Where Are We Going? | Where Do We Want to Be? | How Do We Get There? | Let's Go!

Step Three
Vision Statement

Vision Statement


A Vision is the overall picture of the character of the community sometime in the future. A Vision Statement is a formal description of that vision. It illustrates with words and images what a community hopes to realize through community participation, action planning and implementation. The Vision Statement is the starting point for action.


- adapted from A Guide to Community Visioning Sustainable Community Components


Economic Vitality that promotes a variety of jobs and economic activity within the community.


Environmental Integrity that fosters efficient use of resources and protects the quality and diversity of environmental systems upon which the community depends.


Sense of Community that encourages inclusive citizen participation, and respect for heritage and culture. (from A Pathway to Sustainability)

horse & Carriage Tour through City

"A community vision is an expression of possibility, an ideal future state that the community hopes to attain. Such a vision must be shared by the entire community so that it is truly owned by all -- so that it is "ours" in the inclusive sense."
From The Community Visioning and Strategic Planning Handbook

Visioning is the process which focuses on where a community wants to be within a specified timeframe, whether 5, 10, 20 or 30 years down the road. Visioning empowers the community to move beyond the probable future scenarios developed in Step 2: "Where Are We Going?". Visioning can lead to the desired future of a healthy environment, a strong economy, and a high quality of life.

Community participation is key. Bringing people together, including business, industry, and education, along with children, planners, civic leaders, environmental groups and community associations, allows the vision to capture the values and interests of a broad constituency. Brainstorming ideas from the entire community results in a synergistic effect which can bring out a myriad of ideas that reflect the values and interests of the community as a whole.

The Visioning Process will result in a Vision Statement with one or more alternative "futures" proposed. These "futures" should represent variations on a theme aimed at achieving sustainable solutions for the environment, economy and social well-being. Once a vision is created, the community can work towards realizing its goals in an effective and deliberate way.

Asking "Where Do We Want to Be?" helps a community focus its energies and resources toward common goals. The vision statement lays out a foundation for the action plans which will be developed in the next step, "How Do We Get There?"

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