Valparaiso, IN
City-wide Vision Plan

Valparaiso is a small but prosperous and growing community in the Chicago Region. The city has been proactive and deliberate in planning for its future (being the first Indiana community to adopt a comprehensive plan) and in following through on those plans. This legacy is evident in the city’s vibrant downtown, diverse and well-maintained neighborhoods, highly regarded park system, improving transportation system, and fiscal health. To make Valparaiso even better in the future, the city undertook its first community-driven effort to create a long-term vision and action plan.

Extensive publicity and outreach

A large and diverse citizen steering committee was appointed to guide the process and substance of the vision. They branded the effort ValpoNEXT and helped conduct a publicity campaign that included traditional and online media, as well as personal word-of-mouth outreach.



A robust online campaign supported by traditional media created interest and enthusiasm for the process.

The project Facebook page reached over 2,000 “likes” in the first few weeks of the campaign.


citizens directly involved in the vision process

valponext launch event

unique pieces of community input collected

An engaged community

At the first public event, over three nights in February, nearly 300 people braved sub-zero temperatures to think big about making their community even better. Over the entire course of the process, multiple face-to-face public workshops, small focus groups, as well as online activities reached over 880 people and gathered 2,090 pieces of input.

Broad support

Following the one-year planning process, Valparaiso City Council approved the ValpoNEXT Vision Plan. A large number of community members turned out for the hearing and many spoke with glowing praise about the plan and the extensive community outreach process that led to its adoption.
The final plan sets forth a vision statement and nine initiative areas that organize 43 actions (projects, programs or policies) that will advance the initiatives.

view the plan

The Vision for Valparaiso

Valparaiso aspires to be… the most civically engaged city of its size.
The Valparaiso community will be a place where people take care of one another and are highly involved in local community organizations and efforts. Active and progressive, with a strong sense of place and environmental ethic, it will honor authenticity and uniqueness in culture and business initiatives and seek the wellbeing of its people.


2015 Hoosier Award for Outstanding Public Outreach
Indiana Chapter of the American Planning Association