What is Imagine Columbia’s Future?
It’s a community-wide discussion where all citizens create a shared vision for Columbia’s future. People will talk about what matters to them. They will discover shared goals and make plans to reach them. The final product not only is a community vision of Columbia for the next five, ten or even 15 years…it’s a plan that will be implemented.
What is a vision?
A vision contains several components. It is a citizen driven public involvement effort; it brings together civic, public and private interests; it is “big-picture” thinking and planning – what should the Columbia community be like 10, 15 or 20 years from now; it is comprehensive; it provides a framework to help the public make informed decisions; and it involves all segments of the community.
Why create a vision?
Columbia continues to grow and change. Without a vision, we risk going in directions that don’t make sense for us. That could result in lost opportunities for all of us. Other cities have used it to turn around general decline and to get control of their futures. They’ve established core values that mark them in unique ways.
How do you create a vision?
Imagine Columbia’s Future starts without any preconceived agendas. Citizens build a foundation of ideas and issues through surveys, workshops, public idea-gathering meetings and discussion groups. And everyone is invited to participate…the more diversity, the better the vision! Citizens compare their ideas to technical research on future trends for the city and set goals that become part of the community vision plan.
Will my ideas matter? What if I’m not an expert?
Your idea could be the one that unlocks an opportunity or solves a problem. The only way that your ideas matter is if you participate. You are the expert if you live, work, play, shop or seek services in Columbia.
How can I participate? Where does the action start?
It starts at BIG (Big Idea-Gathering) Meetings. Plan now to attend the one most convenient for you. Hundreds of citizens will start sharing ideas with the help of trained discussion leaders in an atmosphere that is productive, safe and fun.
BIG Meeting #1
Tuesday, Nov. 28 - 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Kimball Ballroom, Lela Raney Wood Hall
Stephens College – 6 North College Ave.
BIG Meeting #2
Thursday, Nov. 30 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Performing Arts Auditorium
Rockbridge High School - 4303 S. Providence
To be involved in the heart of the planning process, consider joining a Citizen Topic Group. The final number of groups and their topical areas will be decided by survey results and the public meetings in November. There will be a minimum number of people required for a topic group to be formed and some groups may be combined. Topic Groups will begin meeting in January and work for at least six months with the help of meeting facilitators and others who can provide information needed for making decisions and setting goals. Citizen Topic Groups will share their work with the Columbia community, get reactions and then prepare final plans.
Who can I contact for more information?
Paula Hertwig Hopkins, Assistant City Manager
City of Columbia
Phone: 573-874-7218 or 573-874-7543