Needed: Crowd Sourcing The Grand Vision
Editor’s Note: I wanted to write about the Grand Vision this morning. Like many mornings before, I can’t find the focus point. I need your help. Comment to this post about your perception and/or experience with the Grand Vision and it’s future; let’s gather our voice. If you’re shy or in a position where voicing opinion is not customary, send me an email in confidence.
I’ve begun each of the last 8 weeks with the goal to write about the Grand Vision. I failed to do so each week. Despite moments of clarity, when I’m either up in angst about it or in full support of it, when I actually sit down to draft a post…I go blank.
What’s the point of praising the Grand Vision? There are other people getting paid to do that.
What’s the point of criticizing the Grand Vision? The anti-planners in our community already occupy that niche.
What’s left? I’m asking.
Lately, I’ve been asking friends and acquaintances their take on the Grand Vision. For the most part, if they work for one of the core organizations supporting the Grand Vision, they offer measured support and promises that it’s yet to reach its full potential. When I ask others, many of whom are very involved in supporting the principles of the Grand Vision (PDF), the response is gentle criticism and thoughtful questioning.
“It’s not a Grand Action or Grand Plan,” is a common reply.
So, how do we harness it into something accessible? Useful? Democratic? The most valuable outcome of the Grand Vision that I’ve been able to use came out two years ago: the land use values research outcomes.
That document confirmed and clarified that my personal values have validation in the region. Namely, that there exists acceptance and support for more dense development & living patterns, preservation of open space, strong environmental policies and less focus on single use transportation infrastructure.
An astounding 90%, for example, support communities that are “convenient to walk or bike.”
How do we get there? What roles do we as individuals play? Does a vision describe an endpoint? Or, simply a process and some guiding principles to argue over?
Do we, excuse the sports analogy, swing for the fences or do we bunt our way around the bases?
I’ll try to be revisiting the Grand Vision in the coming weeks. The transportation land use study is in the final tweaking stages and will serve as an impetus. As well, TC-TALUS is holding onto nearly $2 million to be spent on projects that support the Grand Vision. How will those choices be made?
In the meantime, please send me a message, post a comment, ask neighbors. Where is the Grand Vision in your life?