US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

Implementing the Vision

Activity Area: How will we realize our vision?

Vision Activities

Within this activity, the practitioner’s responsibility is to link the vision and community goals to actionable objectives; to assist in the integration of broad vision guidance to specific efforts of partners; and to document and communicate commitments to be tracked.

Develop objectives and actions – Long- and near-term objectives and action steps may be identified by utilizing the information collected during the visioning exercise. Actions should be linked to identified values, goals, and principle statements in order to provide a basis for progress toward the vision.

Example: The Wasatch Choices 2040 final vision included a number of implementation strategies for local partners.

Integrate vision into processes and plans – Linking vision outcomes and implementation guidance into the efforts of partners provides an important bridge from high-level visions to ground-level processes and plans. Vision outcomes may be formally adopted by partners, or provide direct inputs into planning stages, or be reflected in the decisions and documents of partners.

Example: The Puget Sound Regional Council provides guidance, including a Model Vision Statement, for linking local plans with the regional Vision 2040.

Secure partner commitments – Documenting and communicating commitments is critical to establishing implementation roles and providing momentum to transfer responsibility for implementation to partners.

Example: Central Florida’s How Shall We Grow? process developed a regional compact for elected officials to pledge to work toward the regional vision. Greater Washington 2050 developed a sample resolution of support for use by local governments.

The research report for the Vision Guide contains extensive information about reaching stakeholders and tools that support stakeholder engagement. See Linking Community Visioning and Highway Capacity Planning in the PlanWorks Library Reports.

Visioning Components
Name Tools & Resources
Forming Partnerships

Partnership Models – The involvement of partners, particularly decision-makers, assists in the transition and transfer from high-level visioning to ground-level processes and plans. Partnership models that serve to integrate related plans with the vision include formal adoption by local agencies or informal endorsement by private organizations. Securing partner commitments is also critical to establishing implementation strategies and for providing momentum to transfer responsibility for acting on the vision to partners. Commitments from partners may include pledges to accept and act on the recommendations of a vision, formal adoption into related plans, or agreements to develop demonstration projects. For examples, see the links within the activity area above.

Tracking Commitments

A Model Commitment Tracking Process, developed for this project, is available on this web site. The initial step in this process is to use the output from the visioning process to establish a set of commitments.. Additional effort may be needed to translate outcomes into a set of commitments, and to gain consensus on what organizations or agencies are responsible for commitment fulfillment. This activity is supported by the Establish Commitments step in the model process.