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Strengthening Our Communities: Community Visioning

A Community Visioning process is used by communities to reimagine or reinvent their path to a desired future.

In this consensus-building process, residents, business owners, elected officials and other stakeholders, work together to identify their assets (things that are working well) and challenges (things that are not working so well).

Regular public meetings allow the community members to explore how these assets can be used to address major challenges and new opportunities. This is important for ensuring community buy in. Assets can be anything from parks or festivals to schools, historic homes or culturally significant tourist destinations.

There are many reasons a community or region engages in this type of process, such as the loss of a major employer or a decline in population.

The Community Visioning process results in realistic goals and action steps necessary to achieve a shared image of what the community wishes to become.

You can learn more abot community visioning at uaex.edu.

Emily Smith works as a Program Associate for the UA Cooperative Extension on the Community, Professional & Economic Development team. Primarily, Emily works to build capacity for a community visioning program known as Breakthrough Solutions as well as the UA Cooperative Extension’s statewide leadership development program called LeadAR. In addition to working with these programs, she strives to match community development resources with community needs. She is a graduate of The Clinton School of Public Service where she explored how networks are formed and sustained through participation in leadership networks and how these networks impact individuals. Emily values community participation in community and economic development. Reach out to Emily at elsmith@uaex.edu or at 501-671-2138.