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Working in teams of two, participants took turns completing the sentence, "in 50 years, the CCMPO region will be a place where _________..."
Responses ranged from "West Palm Beach, due to global warming" to "where people feel safe". Common themes were the desire to increase affordable housing; dense, mixed-use development; the availability of transit; and sustainability of local industry, local agriculture, and development.
Participants met in small groups to discuss the questions, "where are we now, where are we going, where do we want to be, and how will we get there?" Following the discussions, each group reported out.
In general, participants spoke positively about Chittenden County and its natural and cultural resources. However, concerns about housing costs, decentralized development, and a lack of transportation choices were common. In order to implement change, more regional thinking and diverse public involvement were desired.
To conclude the workshop, each of the peers answered questions from the group and provided final thoughts.
When decision makers are concerned about raising public expectations that cannot be met, scenario planning is a useful tool. Instead of creating a plan of projects that cannot be delivered, scenario planning is about "painting pictures and getting input" to determine the direction where the community wants to go.