Strategic Plan Common Themes
A number of common themes are woven throughout the Strategic Plan and build on the principles contained in the VISION 20/20 Comprehensive Plan documents prepared from 1996 through 2001. While these themes are built on the original VISION 20/20 process, they have evolved from the discussions within the eight Planning Groups established to develop this Strategic Plan document. The central themes and principles guiding this document are:
A Community for All People
We must strive to incorporate all segments of society in our plans and policies for the future. Poverty is not an alien concept in our community and our plans should reflect an awareness of this fact. Individuals and families living below the poverty level must be considered in our decision-making process.
Livability and Quality of Life
Much of the discussion within each of the groups was all about livability and quality of life: economic development and growth are needed to maintain a community's vitality but not at the expense of quality of life. Economic Development and Quality of Life should not be viewed as competing interests. Sustained economic development and quality community growth cannot be achieved without a good quality of life. Good quality of life cannot be maintained in the community without sustained economic growth.
Environment and Water Quality
Environment and quality of life go hand-in-hand, and that was reflected in the discussions of the Planning Groups. Our region is blessed with an abundance of streams and lakes and excellent supply and quality of drinking water. These features must be preserved. Decisions related to housing development, land use and growth, and transportation have a significant impact on the water quality in our area. Sanitary sewer issues, storm water runoff, and water supply are key components of the water quality issue.
A Decent Place to Live
Sound housing that is affordable to all segments of our community is a basic principle of this Plan. Growth and Land Use policies, transit availability, public education and neighborhood conservation all contribute to addressing the need to provide affordable and sound housing. Actions and strategies undertaken over the next several years can have a major impact on providing affordable housing for all residents.
Center City Revitalization
Revitalization of Springfield's Center City continues to be a key component of future strategies for community development. Center City Springfield helps define the health of the overall community and its success or failure reflects on the entire community.
Intergovernmental Coordination and Cooperation
Coordination and cooperation among the various governmental jurisdictions in the area is a theme contained in many of the strategies and actions recommended in this document. Springfield and Greene County must set an example for cooperation and coordination throughout the region. The communities and counties in the region are not isolated islands, regardless of size, and must work together to address the issues that impact all. This is necessary to address growth issues, transportation issues, education, affordable housing, and all aspects of our future. Government partnerships are needed to address these issues.
Governmental and Institutional Coordination and Partnership
Just as the various governmental jurisdictions need to work together to address common issues, the large Institutions in the community need to work together and local government should partner with institutions to achieve community goals. The medical, educational, and religious institutions in the Springfield area represent a wealth of resources that can provide significant benefits to the community. Local government should solicit the assistance of these institutions in addressing community issues and goals.
Other principles and themes are contained in the Strategic Plan recommendations, but the above principles reflect themes that are consistent throughout the document and were common during the discussions within each of the planning groups. A community that considers all people in its deliberations, recognizes the relationship between economic development and quality of life, is dedicated to protecting the environment, providing a decent place to live for all residents, committed to preserve the historic center of the community, and committed to cooperate and coordinate with its neighbors is a community that will maintain its vitality and quality of life.