SAN DIEGO, March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Regional Vision Initiative, a community-engagement program to produce a needed 50- to 100-year plan for the growing San Diego region, took another step closer to its planned launch in June with the formation of the Regional Vision Council yesterday. Representing the cultural, demographic, geographic, political, business and social diversity of the region, council members will engage their communities and networks to ensure that the plan is based on a shared values and priorities.
Organized and hosted by The San Diego Foundation, the meeting was attended by over 90 of the council's approximately 120 community leaders and was an important first step in the community-engagement process upon which the regional vision will be based.
"Over the next 30 years our region will add approximately one million new residents – most of them our own children," said Bill Geppert, chair of the Regional Vision Initiative. "We need to start planning now to maintain what we love about the San Diego region for future generations."
Participants on the council include some of the region's mayors, county supervisors, city councilors and state assembly members alongside leaders of business and economic development groups as well as representatives from education, healthcare, labor, the environment, transportation, religion, arts and culture.
The Regional Vision Initiative will be modeled upon best practices established through similar successful regional planning initiatives across the nation. The first step in the community engagement process was completed last year and included interviews with more than 1,000 San Diegans who rated their quality of life higher than the national average while also saying, by a clear majority (78%), that a grand plan is needed to preserve, sustain, and enhance our region.
During the meeting, council members heard from a panel of experts from around the country who have been brought in to help facilitate the initiative. Their experience is being coupled with the wealth of expertise, community reach, and passion embodied in the Regional Vision Council to help drive this process to success.
"Residents of San Diego believe we live in the best region in the world with a small town feel and spirit of community that we cherish," said Geppert. "But San Diego has much to consider over the next 50 years to ensure that it will continue to thrive. Jobs and housing affordability are significant issues now and will undoubtedly remain so for years to come due to land constraints, inevitable population growth, the international border, and constraints on our energy and water supply. Education, the economy, infrastructure and our quality of life are all tied together and we need to look at them holistically as we plan our future."
The San Diego Foundation's President and CEO Bob Kelly added, "We are endeavoring to create a culture of engagement so that the many voices of our communities are heard throughout this inclusive and collaborative process. The Foundation is proud to serve as the hub for the initiative's supporters who hope to craft a powerful vision with an actionable, sustainable plan to keep San Diego as one of the world's most beautiful, desirable and progressive communities."
For more information, please contact Kevin Harris, Executive Director, Regional Vision Initiative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The San Diego Foundation
The San Diego Foundation is San Diego's leading resource for information about charitable giving and community needs. The Foundation encourages, supports and facilitates meaningful dialogue on issues affecting each of the region's communities, and works with philanthropists to develop creative solutions to meet critical community needs. Since its inception in 1975, The San Diego Foundation has helped public-spirited citizens find ways to address community problems. Funds managed now number in the thousands. Through them, donors support numerous organizations and serve a variety of extraordinary causes. Donors and funds all share a common purpose: to make San Diego a better place to live, work and play.
About the Regional Vision Initiative
This is a process to create a 50- to 100-year vision and action plan for the San Diego region through a culture of engagement and region-wide conversations about our future. This initiative is being stewarded by The San Diego Foundation and created by residents through unprecedented civic engagement. Once the vision is created, implementation will be led by The San Diego Foundation's Center for Community Engagement, task forces, and, when best suited, other existing agencies and organizations that can activate the public's vision for the future of the region. For more information, visit: www.sdfoundation.org/CivicLeadership/RegionalVisionInitiative.aspx
SOURCE The San Diego Foundation