Some would argue that 20/20 vision is pretty darn good. But when looking at vision statements for the year 2020, which is only 11 months away, that is extremely near-sighted. That’s why a community vision effort called Great Bend - Better Than Great! is asking people to think about what this community will be like in 2040.
With technology and everything else changing constantly, it’s hard to imagine what things will be like in 20+ years. But looking at other cities with 2040 vision plans, we see that it’s not too early to think about future housing and transportation needs, growth management, environmental issues and the kind of community we want this to be.
For example, the city of Coppell, Texas, created a Vision 2030 plan in 2009 and has now moved on to a 2040 plan. According to the city website, “This initiative aims to clarify community priorities that are representative of our demographics and define a clear roadmap that the City of Coppell can use to move into the future.”
Great Bend, like Coppell, is seeking community engagement in this process through workshops and surveys. It would seem that Great Bend’s vision is similar to Coppell’s as well. “Coppell is a family community for a lifetime.” Coppell wants residents to choose to make it their hometown because of its small-town feel, its inviting community gathering places, its active, healthy lifestyle for all, its top quality schools, and the values of its people. Coppell considers itself to be a special place to live because of its beautiful green city, liveable neighborhoods, prosperous business center, and convenient access and effective mobility.
The Greater Newport Area in Oregon also has a vision for 2040. This coastal community wants to feel like home to residents and visitors alike, living in harmony with an environment that offers “exceptional beauty, bounty and outdoor recreation. Our community collaborates to create economic opportunities and living-wage jobs that help keep the Greater Newport Area dynamic, diverse, and affordable. We take pride in our community’s education, innovation, and creativity, helping all our residents learn, grow, and thrive. Our community is safe and healthy, equitable and inclusive, resilient and always prepared. We volunteer, help our neighbors, support those in need, and work together as true partners in our shared future.”
Does that sound like us, too? In a few weeks, we’ll learn more about what participants in Great Bend’s vision project have zeroed in on. For now, people can learn more about Great Bend - Better Than Great! by visiting the website www.GBBetter.com and taking a survey.
Very soon, we’ll also hear more about the efforts of another community group — the steering committee looking at building needs for Great Bend schools. A Master Facilities Plan will be presented to the USD 428 Board of Education when it meets at 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 14.
Each of us has opportunities to help create a vision for the future. When it comes to community vision, being far-sighted is a good thing.