A community-driven opportunity to map out priorities, policies, and projects for the next ten years.
As we look towards Decatur’s next decade, we’re applying our best thinking to a guide for making our city an even better place to live, work, and play.
That guiding framework for the future is Decatur’s Strategic Plan. We come together to update it every 10 years. And now’s the time to chart our way towards 2030.
As we progress, we’ll spot gaps we have to fill with new knowledge and competing ideas we have to reconcile. Our goal at the end is an ambitious Plan that has earned respect for the process that produced it and confidence in the future it addresses.
To make the most of this once-in-a-decade opportunity, we’ll also be aligning two other important guiding documents – Decatur’s Comprehensive Plan and our LCI (Livable Centers Initiative) update – with the new Strategic Plan, and then compiling them all in one fully integrated document.
So how are we doing this?
Over the course of 2020 and into 2021, we’ve been tapping the expertise of residents, businesses, City staff, the project consultant team, and others. There have been conversations of all sorts, big and small, in a variety of forums. And there’s more to come, right up until the City Commission votes on a finished product.
Decaturites can be proud of the way they’ve responded to a crisis of historic proportions, when the COVID-19 global pandemic changed just about every aspect of our daily routines.
We started with a standing-room-only kickoff in January of 2020, setting up Citizen Roundtables, a series of small group discussions where neighbors drill down on their ambitions and concerns. In 2010, over 600 people committed their time and enthusiasm to these conversations. This time, 800 signed up.
Then, as we neared wrap-up on the second of our three in-person Roundtables sessions, the pandemic forced a pause and a reorganization. Everything had to go online. As expected, participation fell off as families focused on new demands for their time. Still, some 40 groups completed all three Roundtables sessions. Dig deeper into those discussions in this news post.
From the Roundtables, four overarching and interconnected challenges seemed to be on everyone’s minds: How to better position Decatur to address climate change, racial inequities, affordable housing gaps, and the need for expanding choices for getting around.
Those themes shaped agendas for four Decatur 202s, where regional experts provided context for Zoom break-out groups. Check out the sessions and what we learned from them in our Resources section.
To make sure everyone has the chance to weigh in regardless of whether they could join the Roundtables or make the scheduled 202 online sessions, we added an additional platform, an interactive Virtual Forum.
More than a year’s worth of community collaboration built confidence that we’re ready for the home stretch. It was time to turn what we’ve learned together into Decatur’s to-do list for the next decade.
The Decatur City staff and the consulting team worked to shape the framework of the three complementary plans – Decatur’s 2030 Strategic Plan, a new Comprehensive Plan, and the Livable Centers Initiative. As those recommendations emerged, they were posted over the course of May and into June for community review and reaction according the following schedule.
Mobility: April 30 – May 7
Housing: May 7 – 16
Civic Trust: May 14 – 23
Economic Development: May 21 – 30
Climate Action: May 28 – June 6
Equity & Racial Justice: June 11-20
Finally, on June 21 a presentation of the draft plan was made to both the City and planning commissions, opening a 5 week comment period for the full document thereafter, including a pop-up event on June 26 and an online, open comment period concluding July 23.
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Throwback: The 2000 Roundtables
- Full Decatur Strategic Plan Draft Ready for Community ReviewAfter more than 18 months of community conversation about Decatur’s to-do list for the next decade, an initial draft of the …
- Into the Home Stretch: Applying What We’ve LearnedAfter more than a year of intensive community collaboration, we’re ready to test ideas to include in the City of Decatur’s …