This winter and spring, JM Goldson with sub-consultants from RKG Associates and Favermann Design have been working with the Town of Tewksbury to create a 20-year community vision. The project includes soliciting community input through both face-to-face community engagement and digital engagement through a CoUrbanize site dedicated to the project.
What is Community Visioning?
Visioning is the act of imagining the future. Before there can be a meaningful plan, community members must agree on a mental picture of what they want their community to look like, feel like, and be like. What would the community be like at its very best?
In 20 years from now, visioning imagines...
- Who lives here?
- What are they doing?
- What are their homes like?
- How are they getting around?
Community Engagement in Tewksbury
In Tewksbury in the past few months, the Town held a community open house and a focus group for town officials, both of which provided information about the key findings of the 2016 Master Plan and engaged participants in envisioning the future through multiple techniques. Upcoming on May 18th, the Town will sponsor a Seniors focus group and another community open house on June 1st where the community will be invited to discuss draft vision statements.
The community member reached in this project is greatly expanded through online engagement. The project has used an online platform called coUrbanize to distribute information to members of the town and to get feedback on what people want to see happing in Tewksbury. CoUrbanize, using a map of the town, offers users to leave comments about parts of the town they love, areas that could be better, and what's missing from the town. It also provides us a means to give updates on the visioning process. This project has close to 400 comments shared through the platform!
A part of community visioning is branding the community – when people think of Tewksbury, what do they think of? Mark Favermann, of Favermann Design, created five designs that were showcased at the first open house with the option for participants to vote on their favorites. These designs would brand Tewksbury, and included images of the town hall and gazebo. Participants voted based on what they felt best represented their town.
Here is an article by Mark Favermann on community branding: Urban Branding - An Expression of Civic Character
The timeline for the project is linked below: