Do you ever look around your city and think, “I wish that we had…”?Â If I wrote down a list of all the things I wanted to change or add to my city, it would fill up a couple of pages easily. Now imagine if you compiled the wish list of more than 100 leaders representing different interests and lifestyles from around a city. What would that look like?Â How long would that list be?
As it turns out, Plan 2020 did just that for Indianapolis, and the result is their 20-page Bicentennial Agenda (among a slew of other, more technical documents). If you’re feeling Leslie Knope-ish, the agendaÂ makes for interesting reading. If not, you’re in luck because not only did I read the whole plan and drop in on their briefing tonight, I also summed up the highlights for you below in well under a single page:
“Everything in the Bicentennial Plan will have a partner who’s agreed to implement it.”
Brooke Thomas of the Plan 2020 Leadership team, speaking at the Agenda briefing tonight, stressed that the Bicentennial Agenda isn’t a mere wish list, but that it will soon enter a stage where theÂ visions laid out in the text will be assigned to already existing community organizationsÂ and entitiesÂ that will see the goals through to completion.
Of course, it remains to be seen if there is an existing group up to each one of the tasks in the plan; or if the future partners will see their tasks through to completion. Reading the Agenda, I kept thinking, “These are great ideas, but how? Who? Will it really happen?” But with the extensiveÂ lineup of groups that invested their time and energy into creating the plan (from the United Way of Central Indiana to the Mayor’s Office to WISH-TV to countless nonprofits and businesses) it seems like the kind of promiseÂ you canÂ put your faith in.
Not a reinvention of the wheel
Another point that they went back to time and again tonight was that nothing in their Bicentennial Agenda is starting from scratch. The ideas in the plan build on city history reaching back to the early 1900s and the height of our transportation system.Â They also take into account more recent ideas like Unigov, and why we can’t just repeat that strategy. With an eye to the future, Plan 2020 doesn’t disregard the past–or the work that’s already being done by existing groups in the city. Speaking with Brooke Thomas after the program, she explained further that the Agenda aimsÂ to align different efforts everywhere in the city toÂ a common vision and direction.
They actually want to know what you think.
Plan 2020’s Bicentennial Agenda lays out a big picture plan for Indianapolis in the next five years. Since they’re still in the planning stage, they are actively seeking the public’s input in a variety of ways.
If you live in Indianapolis, take a few minutes to visitÂ Plan 2020Â on Twitter or FacebookÂ and add your dream to the wish list. For those of you whoÂ live elsewhere, what’s on your wish list for your city? What kinds of plans is your city making for the coming years?
This post was originally written on Emily’s blog.