LaPorte County, IN
Vision and Action Plan

LaPorte County, Indiana, has embodied innovation for centuries—from its origin in agricultural production to its growth in industrialization. Thirty years after the County’s last plan, and witnessing new growth in surrounding communities, a coalition of leaders decided it was time to plan to join together to define a new pathway forward. The Unity Foundation of LaPorte County and the LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau launched a process and Planning NEXT was hired to lead the community in identifying programs, projects, and policies to fund as part of a countywide Action Agenda.

Building a collaborative spirit

LaPorte County is home to rural communities, small towns and urban cities. Each community is known for unique features that define high quality places. Seeking to position themselves for the future, these communities joined together with over a dozen sponsors to undergo the strategic planning process. This partnership is represented through the 25-member steering committee focused on ensuring everyone in the community has the opportunity to participate. Their guidance in the process brought over 750 people together during the first round of engagement to help shape the plan’s direction.

Leveraging the region

The Vibrant Communities Initiative strives to align several focus areas for the County with those identified for the region. Northwestern Indiana understands the need for united investment while leveraging regional assets such as the newly designated Indiana Dunes National Park. Through the public engagement process, Vibrant Communities has identified opportunities leverage such efforts. Supporting entrepreneurship, promoting attractions, preserving and enhancing natural amenities and advancing public health are just a few areas of attention that connect the strategic planning process with regional priorities.

Igniting the movement

The strategic planning process is about more than developing an action agenda—it’s about building a movement for continuous change. This process will result in specific programs, policies, and projects for the communities of LaPorte County to pursue. These action items only represent the first version of the movement and are intended to be expanded upon. Vibrant Communities will serve as a living, working movement through the ongoing implementation of the action agenda. As partnerships are formed and indicators are identified, new expressions of the movement will emerge, promoting continued opportunities to improve and enhance the county.


Project Type: vision and action plan
Community Type: county
Client: LaPorte County
Services: vision and action planning, public engagement, social media and online engagement