The City of Lacombe Council just adopted their Municipal Sustainability Plan (MSP), entitled Imagine Lacombe.
Imagine Lacombe provides a long-term vision for guiding the community towards greater social, environmental, and economic success by the year 2040, and was created through input from over 1000 citizens and the dedicated work of the Community Sustainability Advisory Team.
How did a community the size of Lacombe (population 12,000) get so much community input? They did this by using some creative engagement strategies that appealed to a broad range of citizens and that were easy ways of providing input. The majority of the input was solicited through three simple and motivating questions framed by the overarching question: What are your hopes and dreams for the future of Lacombe?
- What do you value most about Lacombe?
- What changes would you like to see?
- How can we all help make it happen?
These three questions were made available in a number of different formats including an on-line survey, a postcard distributed in numerous venues throughout the community, idea walls in several community locations, and at workshops and focus group meetings. The on-line survey was advertised on the back of the postcards, as well as through posters and ads in the community paper, theatres and various publications. All three schools in the community were engaged and invited to provide input. In addition, a more in-depth on-line survey was available for providing more detailed input regarding the desired future, as well as opportunities and challenges facing the community.
The input from all of the responses was compiled, analyzed and used to develop the Imagine Lacombe Community Priority Goals, Desired Outcomes, and Key Directions. These plan elements will guide Lacombe towards a stronger and more sustainable future. Indicators based on the goals were also developed to help track community progress.
While the community has developed the Imagine Lacombe shared vision for the future, it recognizes that opportunities and challenges change over time. These opportunities and challenges may require short-term trade-offs, but the vision remains constant, and Imagine Lacombe will continue to provide the framework to ensure that the vision is achieved over the longer term.
Contact us for more information on community planning and how we can help.
By Cheeying Ho