Focus on the Future workshop in Mobile shatters expectations

Nearly 500 people came out to last night’s Focus on the Future workshop to share their ideas for the future of Mobile, Alabama.  The workshop marked the public kick-off of the city’s first comprehensive planning effort in nearly 20 years.

George Talbot, spokesman for Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, said an official headcount will be tricky because people filtered in well after the workshop began, but the initially standing-room-only crowd shattered expectations.

logo_nobackground_fullcolorLaunched in January, the effort named Map For Mobile is an eight-month  community-driven process to prepare a vision and specific recommendations for citywide preservation, revitalization and growth. It is being led by Birmingham-based Goodwin Mills and Cawood with support from Planning NEXT. Over the past six weeks our team has coordinated an intense publicity and word-of-mouth outreach campaign to raise awareness of the plan and bring people to the March 30 workshop. That effort included a project identity and advertisements, a website, and coordination of a group of citizen outreach volunteers.

During the workshop, participants sat in small groups with a trained volunteer facilitator and brainstormed ideas for the future of Mobile and worked on a map-based activity. The Focus on the Future activities will be available on the project website through April to gather additional input from anyone who wasn’t at the workshop to contribute their ideas.

The next step in the visioning process will be a three-day event slated for May 18-21.


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