US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

Implementing the Vision

Activity Area: What have we accomplished?

Vision Activities

Within this activity, the practitioner’s responsibility is to provide information and updates on the status of the vision, the state of the community, and progress toward implementation.

Measure and communicate progress – Continuing to monitor, measure, and report the status of implementation or progress toward the vision is a powerful tool for continuing efforts and adjusting priorities. Communicating progress may mean developing performance measures and indicators or may include anecdotal stories of success that help inspire action.

Example: The Denver Regional Council of Governments’ Measuring Progress: Regional Performance Measures and Indicators, report evaluates progress made toward Metro Vision goals.

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
Reaching Stakeholders

Stakeholder outreach is a critical component of communicating progress and assisting in maintaining public support and interest in the project. On line resources, publications, and visualizations are effective techniques to help distribute information and progress reports to wide audiences in a compelling and accessible way.

Practitioners may consider these questions when assessing outreach tools:

How can we best communicate to stakeholders the vision’s progress, performance, and achievements?

How can we best involve those stakeholders in contributing towards the implementation of the vision?

Considering Communities

Indicators can be used to identify the progress that has been made toward the goals and objectives established in the adopted vision.

PolicyMap, Geographic Information Systems Mapping Services and Software – This online tool with the capacity to map and report indicators related to demographics, real estate, crime rates, health, schools, housing affordability, employment, energy, public investments, and others. Access The Policy Map.

Active Community Environments (ACEs) Community Assessment – This is an assessment tool designed to help the user identify ways that can help encourage and support bicycle movements. There are five short questionnaires and a rating system that can be used as a benchmark for community progress. See more at Active Community Environments.

Walkability Checklist and A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities – These checklists are designed for community members to determine if their neighborhood is a friendly place to walk. The guidebook can be referenced by participants to learn about roadway conditions, traffic problems that adversely affect pedestrian movements, and ways to help address these problems to make the environment more supportive of pedestrian activity. See more at A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities and Walkable America.

West Peterborough Road Audit – This audit tool can be used to evaluate how well streets and adjacent land uses are performing as Places, and identify opportunities for future enhancements. Download the tool here.

Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey – The survey was designed to be used by state or federal government agencies interested in surveying constituents on social capital, smaller communities that may not have the time, budget, or staff to use the long-form survey, and communities and non-profits that may already be conducting surveys and want the short-form to act as supplemental information on social capital. The survey is designed to be used "pre" and "post" project to determine if social capital has changed. Download the short form or the long form.

Forming Partnerships

Partnership Models – Recognizing the contributions of partners in progress towards vision outcomes allows for the opportunity to reward partners in success and motivate partners in failure. Partnerships such as Steering Committees or Technical Advisory Groups are often renewed or established to assist in developing community indicators or progress reports, as well as revisiting the vision and determining next steps based on progress to date.

Tracking Commitments

Progress on implementing the vision, goals, and actions should be monitored on a regular basis. Given that visions are normally implemented over the long term, the actions may be monitored and reported on an annual or semiannual basis. Commitments at the project level such as environmental commitments may be reported on more often. There should be a periodic review system established that would include a list of commitments with an indication what already is been implemented, what is in progress, what is overdue, what is planned and if there have been any modification to the commitment. This activity area is related to two steps within the Model Commitment Tracking Process.

Monitor Commitment Activities – In this step the lead convener, or implementation lead, responsible for reviewing commitments monitors commitment progress. This activity involves reviewing the list of commitments and specific actions, and analyzing any progress made since the last update.

Report on Commitment Performance – Periodically, the lead responsible for monitoring commitments should generate a report on commitment performance for all stakeholders. The reporting period should be one agreed upon between the vision lead and stakeholders (e.g., biannual or annual reports). Reports on commitment performance should list ongoing commitments, commitment status, actions for the commitment, due dates for the actions, and any overdue actions.