Stevens Point begins placemaking process to develop strategic plan
For the City Times
STEVENS POINT – The city of Stevens Point has teamed up with Iowa-based Alchemy Community Transformations and locally-based CREATE Portage County, to kick off a strategic planning process focused on addressing local challenges and developing a vision for the future.
Together, Stevens Point, Alchemy and CREATE, will develop an action plan through creative placemaking, “a collaborative and locally-driven approach to building strong, vibrant communities.”
The goal of this process is to help Stevens Point spur economic development and population growth through the creation of cultural and entrepreneurial amenities, concepts, and catalytic projects. Working alongside local and regional partners, Alchemy’s placemaking process will include: community visioning and stakeholder outreach; quantitative and qualitative community assessment; strategic plan development; and implementation objectives and recommendations
The community visioning and stakeholder outreach phase will begin with an online survey designed for Stevens Point residents. The survey can be accessed on the city’s website, www.stevenspoint.com/visionsurvey.
“Alchemy and CREATE will work with the City of Stevens Point to ensure they can leverage all necessary tools to achieve the community engagement and consensus required to develop an effective strategy. This will include face to face dialogues through interviews and focus groups, two community visioning sessions, and the online survey,” a city release said.
The visioning sessions will be held via Zoom and are open to the public. The City of Stevens Point website will post information and links to the sessions, which are scheduled to be held on: Aug. 5, 5-6 p.m., and Aug. 6, 8-9 a.m.
“We already know that Stevens Point is the best place in Wisconsin to live, work and play,” said Mayor Mike Wiza, “In order to preserve this quality of life, while building a vibrant plan for the future, the city is launching the process of creating our first ever strategic plan. The plan will be our decision-making roadmap for the next 5-7 years, with a goal of supporting community resiliency and a strong sense of place. We look forward to working with our consultant, Alchemy, during this entire process.”
City officials say that while countless rural communities across the country face similar challenges to Stevens Point, what sets the city apart is the eagerness to find innovative solutions and take action to shape the future of the community, build an equitable economy, attract and retain top talent, and improve the overall quality of life.
“Alchemy believes that Stevens Point already has all the right pieces in place for success including a top university, progressive commitment to environmental sustainability, unique amenities and attractions, and strong local leadership ready to take action. The key is leveraging these assets to develop a plan with long term, sustainable economic impact while making the community a better place to live, work and play,” Community Placemaker at Alchemy Vice Principal Libby Crimmings said.
The process will take approximately seven months and will be guided by a prominent Steering Committee of local public and private leaders. At completion, the city of Stevens Point will have access to a custom website with a unique domain including all information gathered, the full action plan with steps for implementation, and appendices with custom business models.