DLCD Honors Envision Eugene For Citizen Engagement

It's no coincidence that citizen involvement is Goal One of the statewide land use planning goals. By thoroughly engaging local residents, businesses, and organizations, cities and counties can create plans that truly reflect the visions and aspirations of the whole community. In its ongoing Envision Eugene process, the City of Eugene went above and beyond many jurisidictions in its use of innovative, committed efforts to invite and utilize public input and engagement. Recognizing this commitment, the Department of Land Conservation and Development's Citizen Involvement Advisory Committee (CIAC) recently awarded the Envision Eugene planning process the STAR Award, the state's highest honor for citizen involvement in land use. 

Throughout 2010, Envision Eugene engaged in a wide-ranging visioning process with residents and businesses, culminating in the release of a draft "Pillar" Document on March 2. Eugene used a variety of public engagement techniques, including focus groups, public workshops, Facebook, Google Maps and other web tools, and dozens of presentations to community groups, University of Oregon classes, and neighborhood associations.

1000 Friends Willamette Valley Advocate Mia Nelson serves on the Community Resource Group for Envision Euguene, a 60-person committee that represents diverse points of view about the city's future, as well as the Technical Resource Group, a smaller committee working on fact-checking, data collection and analysis.  Nelson was present when DLCD presented the award in Salem on June 22 (see photo at right, in which LCDC Chair John VandLandingham presents the award to Nelson and other Envision Eugene representatives).

"Eugene is pioneering a collaborative, cooperative approach to urban planning by treating citizens, business leaders and land use advocates as partners, not adversaries.  I wish all cities would follow Eugene's lead," Nelson says of the award.

The Envision Eugene process is ongoing, and it is not too late to get involved. The city is now engaging in what it calls "strategy refinement," translating the visions expressed by community members into concrete policies and actions. Three open houses are scheduled for this summer, on July 6, August 3, and September 7, at the Atrium Building. Each Open House will consider issues of housing and jobs land needs for the future. The city has also begun its Transportation Study Plan for Eugene's transportation future.

 

For more information on the Envision Eugene process, visit the plan's home page here. Or contact Willamette Valley Advocate Mia Nelson at mia@friends.org.