How Shall We Grow? Regional Summit
HOW SHALL WE GROW?
CENTRAL FLORIDA REGIONAL GROWTH VISION
Citizens & Leaders Celebrate a Shared Vision for Central Florida
Imagine Central Florida in the Year 2050:
Will it look the same?
How will it change?
Central Florida residents desire a future where the region consumes less land, preserves more precious environmental resources and natural countryside, creates more distinctive places to live in both rural and urban areas, and provides more choices for how people travel.
That was the message presented on August 10, 2007, as the Shared Growth Vision for Central Florida was unveiled before an audience of nearly 600 Central Floridians at the "How Shall We Grow?" Regional Summit held at the Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate.
"How Shall We Grow?" was an 18-month campaign to Create a Shared Growth Vision for Central Florida where nearly 20,000 Central Florida residents were involved in creating a shared vision for how our region can grow between now and 2050, when the population is expected to double from 3.5 million to 7.2 million people.
The Regional Summit opened with a theatrical reading during which adult and child actors reminisced about the history of Central Florida and then contemplated what the future could be like in Central Florida. The production included the recognition of the Honorable John Land, who has served as the Mayor of Apopka for 55 years.
Sixteen elected officials representing city and county governments and school boards of the seven Central Florida counties spent a year developing a regional compact and policy framework that takes the shared vision and identifies specific policies that can be implemented to ensure we move toward achieving the vision. As part of the Summit, they relayed their pledge, made on behalf of elected officials from throughout the region, to continue working together to address the key regional issues facing Central Florida. They also outlined the key principles and themes articulated in the vision.
The vision embraces a future that is different than our current path where the amount of developed land in Central Florida will double by 2050 to more than 5,200 square miles.
Four key themes emerged from the How Shall We Grow? campaign demonstrating how the future of Central Florida can be different if future policies and practices are based on the 4 C's: Conservation, Countryside, Centers and Corridors.
* Conservation - Establish a "Green Areas" conservation footprint.
* Countryside - Preserve countryside outside of centers.
* Centers - Promote growth in current city, town or village centers and encourage the development of additional population centers to counter the current pattern of sprawling development.
* Corridors - Connect centers with a balance of roads, light rail, streetcars and buses planned by county transportation planners cooperating regionally.
To achieve the four themes, citizens and leaders have identified six principles that should guide future growth decisions region wide.
* Preserve Open Space, Recreational Areas, Farmland, Water Resources, and Regionally Significant Natural Areas.
* Provide a Variety of Transportation Choices.
* Foster Distinct, Attractive, and Safe Places to Live.
* Encourage a Diverse, Globally Competitive Economy.
* Create a Range of Obtainable Housing Opportunities and Choices.
* Build Communities with Educational, Health Care, and Cultural Amenities
After the vision was unveiled, young leaders from across the region led participants in table discussions on the role of individuals, businesses and governments in moving Central Florida from the trend to the shared regional vision. They then offered questions and ideas to a panel of regional leaders that included Mayor Buddy Dyer from the City of Orlando, Chairman Frank Bruno from Volusia County and the Chairs of the East Central Florida Regional Planning, the Central Florida MPO Alliance, myregion.org and the Central Florida Smart Growth Alliance. Click here to read the table discussion.
The Summit concluded with a statewide reaction by Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos. She offered feedback on what the state agencies that govern the key areas of the vision can do to support and assist in ensuring that the Regional Growth Vision becomes reality.
The Central Florida Regional Growth Vision is available to download.
The following partners have supported the How Shall We Grow? Project and regional collaboration efforts in Central Florida: Florida Department of Community Affairs (FDCA), Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Central Florida MPO Alliance, the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC), myregion.org and the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce.