A Visioning Process in
Grand Junction and Mesa County, Colorado

JKA conducted a visioning process for Grand Junction and Mesa County, Colorado in 2001. Through what was called The Valley Vision 2020 Steering Committee, the City and County desired to undertake a visioning process in the region that would offer guidance to a strategic plan and to the decision-making of individual government units. The 2020 Committee commissioned JKA to do this work because it wanted a cultural methodology that included direct citizen contact and sensitivity to geographic diversity.

Beginning in 2001, JKA engaged in the Discovery Process. The methodology involved scales of effort that began with community description, progressed to neighborhood chat sessions and village gatherings, and culminated in a valley-wide celebration of the results. What the work revealed is that at the individual and community level there were strengths within the community that were shared and that led to successful adaptation to changing conditions. The social capital—those enduring norms of trust and reciprocity—was central to numerous stories of people coming together and solving their own problems. A pivotal factor in the cultural development of the Grand Valley was the historic geographic isolation of the area. The three personal strengths—resilience, self-sufficiency, and caretaking—were related to the key community strengths—absorption, adaptability, and stabilization. Through people telling their own stories of why they came to the Valley, why they stayed, and what they needed to continue to stay, a composite picture emerged of the vision residents had for their community. The visioning process was translated into planning elements and policy guidance for local government units. The JKA work culminated in a report entitled, "The Grand Valley: A Community Vision for the Year 2020," presented to The Valley Vision 2020 Steering Committee, August, 2001.

This work is still stimulating policy discussions and planning in the area.
A graphic summary of the findings is shown below.

For the full project document, go to:

Grand Junction


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