In 2007, an informal meeting of city, county and non-profit organization leaders was convened to discuss the city’s pressing challenges, which included Eau Claire’s need for enhanced community services and additional facilities. The group contracted with the National Civic League to facilitate a planning process that combined large community planning meetings and small focused work groups. This group identified more than 500 stakeholders. People were recruited into an ad-hoc coalition committed to implementing an inclusive, problem-solving approach to community planning. Additional members were recruited so that the group better reflected the ethnic, geographic, age, gender, and occupational diversity of the greater community. The people involved represented business groups, education groups, environmental groups, faith-based organizations, healthcare providers, housing groups, neighborhood groups, nonprofits, retirees, students, and government entities. Through this process, they developed a set of community values and implementation strategies with measurable outcomes. The result is “Clear Vision Eau Claire.” This vision includes six community priorities:
Clear Vision Eau Claire, is designed to bring all sectors of the city together to create a broad community vision and strategic plan, aimed at building a reinvigorated sense of purpose with clear, common priorities. The Clear Vision process supports the formal planning, decision- making and budgeting processes of the city, county, and school governments, strengthening the capacity for effective collaboration by providing an integrated and coherent community perspective essential for effective coordination among government agencies.
The Clear Vision is unique in many ways and demonstrates the collective strengths of collaborative community work:
These ventures impact the lives of every resident in Eau Claire. Successes include an extensive Bike Plan that has increased health and transportation access for residents, a Confluence Project that expanded the community event space near Phoenix Park and brought in new development and a new Health Chapter in the Comprehensive Plan that focused on safe buildings, inter-connected sidewalks, convenient bike trails, accessible parks and community gardens.
For more information visit: http://ec.clearvisioneauclaire.org/