How will your community look in 2030?

Shannon Dobbins Haydin | with 0 Comments

How will your community look in 2030?

Futurism was one of the hot topics explored recently at the Wisconsin City/County Management Association (WCMA) Summer Conference held in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.  During the sessions, I had the opportunity to brainstorm with community leaders on how to manage like a futurist.  What I learned on my journey to the future was eye-opening.
What do you know about the Millennial Generation?  If you were unable to answer, don’t feel bad because you are not alone.  Even experts are having a difficult time defining this generation. There are varying dates associated with Millennials but generally it is birthing years of the late 1970s to early 1980s through the early 2000s.  In simple terms, it follows Generation X. 

Today, that means my 14-year-old is in the same demographic group as my neighbor who is 34. As hard as that is to process, imagine Administrators and Council Members planning the future for not only the young Millenials, but for aging Generation X and Baby Boomers.
How do you develop a plan to meet the cross-generational needs of a community? 
  • Economic and market analysis can identify market potentials for key commercial and industrial uses and activities, with the intent of clarifying growth potentials.  Trade area delineation, retail supply and demand, and business mix analysis are important strategies to include in economic development.
  • Demographic profiling reviews population, households, age indicators, income factors, and employment statistics and trends which are extremely helpful in planning.  Demographics for defined markets can also be highlighted, including population forecasts, per capita income, and household lifestyle segments. 
  • Public outreach is an important part of the initial data-gathering phase. Obtaining public input engages the community and allows leaders to extract themes that assist in developing goals for a comprehensive plan. Bringing all of the stakeholders together allows the community to establish a vision for the future.
Navigating to 2030 and beyond is attainable by planning for your community’s unique opportunities and challenges in order to create a comprehensive plan that reflects the identity of the community and its residents. The community of the future will need to be resilient not only in infrastructure but the services and programs they provide. The journey to the future is upon us. Make sure you have the tools necessary to build a strong community for 2030 and beyond.  

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