US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

Preparing the Vision

Activity Area: Approve Scope

Vision Activities

Effectively planning visioning activities and managing the expectations of stakeholders and partners is critical to a successful process. A scope of work should establish a detailed, phased approach that allows for reassessments at critical junctures in the process. While a scope may be approved by the leadership of a sponsoring organization, it should also be clearly communicated to a broader audience to help set expectations for the vision.

Develop scope of work – Planning and managing visioning activities is critical to a successful process. Ideally, a scope should establish a detailed, phased approach that allows for reassessments at critical junctures in the process. A wide range of variations exist to complete key visioning elements such as scenario-planning, outreach and input efforts, and communication of products under any resource constraints.

Examples: Southeast Florida 2060’s Draft Scope of Work provides an overview of a regional vision workplan. A community area vision scope and cost estimate was developed by Washington’s Waterfront Futures effort.

Develop outreach strategy – Focusing early outreach efforts on building networks, developing media contacts, establishing a brand and web presence, and presenting information to community members should be part of a public participation and outreach strategy. Outcomes may include public communications materials, media materials, a web site, and related branding materials. A complete matrix of available outreach tools and techniques is available in Chapter 6 of the Technical Report and through the “Reaching Stakeholders” component

Examples: Imagine KC, the public input campaign of Transportation 2040, developed “Conversation in a Box” a toolkit for community organizers. Vision PDX conducted extensive community engagement activities and identified challenges and opportunities associated with each technique.

Establish timeline and milestones – Communicating the visioning process in terms of purpose, procedures, and major decision points helps clearly convey the project to supporters and the public. At the initiation of the vision, the public and partners, should be fully informed of their roles, expectations, timetables, and potential products.

Examples: Vision North Texas developed a work plan summary and Bluegrass Tomorrow developed a roadmap concept.

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