Community Visioning Programs: Processes and Outcomes


Community visioning is key in helping local public officials and community leaders create a flourishing future for their cities, and is essential for the effective planning and implementation of these strategies.  Visioning involves collaborative goal setting to motivate actions – of planners, citizens, and officials – in order to design and carry out a strategic planning process for the successful development of the community.

The use of visioning since the 1980s has led to a wealth of information on the productivity of the paths it has taken.  The contributors, all with experience working in the area, review the successes and failures of the strategies, and look at new innovations which are pushing the frontiers of community visioning.

This review of the development of visioning focuses on small and medium sized communities in North America.  It aims to guide citizens, local leaders and planners on what strategies are best to help them revitalise their communities and ensure a prosperous future.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Norman Walzer is Senior Research Scholar in the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University and has held the post of Director Emeritus, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Western Illinois University for the last 15 years. Walzer is past President of the Mid-Continent Regional Science Association and the Community Development Society. He has published extensively on rural public policy issues, local economic development, public finance, governmental structure, and transportation. His most recent book is Entrepreneurship and Local Development published by Lexington Books in 2007. His current research is on the Midwest economy with special interest in factors affecting entrepreneurship, business starts, and expansions in rural areas. Walzer recently co-edited (with Gisele F. Hamm) a special issue of Community Development: Journal of the CDS on successful community visioning practices and is currently co-editing (with Sam Cordes) a special issue on innovative community change programs.

Gisele F. Hamm is a Research Associate in the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Western Illinois University, where she directs the Management and Planning Programs Involving Non-metropolitan Governments (MAPPING) program. MAPPING has been recognized nationally for its work on community visioning initiatives. She is past President of the Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, served on the board of the Community Development Society, and recently co-edited (with Norman Walzer) a special issue of Community Development: Journal of the CDS on successful community visioning practices. She has published on innovative approaches to brownfields, local economic development strategies, and other issues related to community and economic development.

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Table of Contents

1. Community Visioning Initiatives Norman Walzer and Gisele F. Hamm 2. Essential Ingredients in Successful Visioning Janet Ayres 3. Structures, Approaches, Stakeholders, and Program Outcomes Norman Walzer and Tatchalerm Sudhipongpracha 4. Ready to Vision? Evidence from Social Capital Assessments in Four Minnesota Towns Ryan Allen, Scott Chazdon, Barbara Radke, and Tobias Spanier 5. Framework for Teaching and Implementing Community Visioning Paul Lachapelle, Mary Emery, and Charlie French 6. Importance of Intangible Outcomes Charlie French and Paul Lachapelle 7. Building Solidarity and Agency Through a Participatory Visioning Process Lori Garkovich 8. Appreciative Inquiry as a Visioning Process Mary Emery and Cornelia B. Flora 9. Strategic Doing for Community Development Ed Morrison 10. Breakthrough Solutions—A New Paradigm for Strategic Visioning Mark Peterson, Ed Levy, and Jeff Jones

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