In our process, visionPDX primarily sought to
discover and establish Portlanders’ values. Through
the analysis of the community input, we focused
on what was driving people’s ideas. We took time
to identify what Portlanders hold in common, even
when they sometimes disagreed over particular solutions.
As such, the rich data collected through visionPDX
can be used as a baseline for policy makers, bureau
directors, businesses, community organizations and
individuals to help prioritize actions that are
aligned with Portlanders’ values and that are widely
and deeply felt by the community as a whole.
The visionPDX process first asked Portlanders what
they value most about their community, then what
changes they would like to see today. After identifying
immediate challenges facing the city, we asked people’s
greater vision for Portland in 20 years. Finally,
we asked, “How can we get there?” By taking community
members through this simple exercise, we gained
an understanding of where Portlanders agree and
where there are tensions in public opinion.
In our analysis of the data, we found that some
assumptions about Portlanders’ beliefs were confirmed.
We also discovered that the public is thinking about
a range of pressing issues, many of which will require
Equally important to our visioning process was
the act of engagement. By taking the time to meet
with and talk to people, we built ownership of the
vision. Once people were meaningfully engaged, they
became keenly interested in the outcome of visionPDX,
both for themselves and for Portland. These partners
will be influential in carrying the vision beyond
City government and into the community, where meaningful
action will occur.