Muncie, IN
Vision and Action Plan

Like many communities in the Midwest—Muncie faces significant challenges in creating a prosperous and sustainable future after decades of disinvestment, population decline, changing demographics, and inefficient land development. Community leaders, including stakeholders from higher education institutions (Ball State University, Ivy Tech Community College, Harrison College), conceived the Muncie Action Plan (MAP) as a means to take stock of their current situation, to collaboratively shape an inspired agenda for the future, and to collectively work toward that future.


The planning NEXT team designed and facilitated a visioning and strategic planning process that was inclusive, holding citizens’ opinions and values at its core; supportable, using methods to reach consensus on shared future goals among diverging interests; and actionable, detailing clear implementation steps to immediately work toward the vision. The process was an unprecedented coming together of the community. It engaged people of all ages and backgrounds from all parts of the city. Over 2,000 people attended at least one MAP workshop and many others volunteered to support the process. Never before have so many Muncie citizens gathered to share their ideas, hopes, and concerns about the community’s future.


The Muncie Action Plan is a strategic guide to achieving the community’s aspirations for the future and includes 47 actions organized into five initiatives: 1) Linking Learning, Health, and Prosperity; 2) Fostering Collaboration; 3) Strengthening Pride and Image; 4) Creating Attractive and Desirable Places; and 5) Managing Community Resources. The plan was formally adopted by elected officials in both Muncie and Delaware County in early 2010. The Plan will also serve as a foundation to support future detailed planning such as an update to the Muncie-Delaware County Comprehensive Plan. The Team designed an implementation structure for the Plan and, in September of 2010, organizers and citizen volunteers formed a leadership group and five task forces to carry out MAP’s initiatives. The planning NEXT team continues to help in guiding implementation of the Action Plan.


Project Type:  vision and strategic plan
Community Type: mid-size city
Client: City of Muncie, Muncie Public Library
Services: public engagement, visioning