How does your community connect vision and projects?
Let’s face it, most community members do not know or care what you think their vision is. Or what their priorities are. They don’t think it makes any difference. So they don’t bother much to tell you when you ask them.
And when they see what you are doing (if they notice), they don’t connect it to any vision or plan, much less any input they or their neighbours may have had.
How do they connect vision and projects? Or vision and services? Generally, the answer is they don’t.
Not fair, I hear you cry! We have a newsletter and it’s pretty informative about what we’re doing. Okay, it doesn’t link back to the Strategic Community Plan that well but hey, they can connect the dots can’t they? Well, if they read the Plan they could. It’s not our fault if they don’t know about it. How did we tell them? Well, in our newsletter for a start.
Why not connect vision and projects (or services) directly?
If you liked it then you should’a put a sign on it
It doesn’t take much to signpost your enhancements to assets or services. Many projects have signage anyway. Why not use signage to link your enhancements to the community vision and plan? City of Sydney does a brilliant job of this. If anyone in Sydney doesn’t know that the vision for Sydney is to be more green, global and connected, they must have their head in the pavers.
The restoration of the Sydney Town Hall is a good example. How does this link to the vision? It is connecting the present with the past. And they are taking the opportunity to improve the eco-efficiency of the building. And it is an iconic feature of a global capital city. How do I know this? Because I read their newsletter? No, it’s all over the construction fence.
Why does this connection matter?
This isn’t about “spin” or blowing your trumpet. Communities have a right to know what you are delivering on their behalf, and why. They have a right to know that you are on the job. It directly contributes to their wellbeing. But it’s not just that; citizens should know that the community vision and plan for the future makes a difference. And that it makes a difference to things that are important to them. They might actually want to influence a vision and plan like that!
Awareness of what local government is delivering and the impacts that are being achieved is a source of community wellbeing in its own right