Ingenuity Spring 2018

6 Pond | A BRIGHT OUR PROCESS To help us answer these questions, our team has been guided by a core philosophy focusing on (1) a commitment to engaging the community and understanding a collective vision for the future and (2) a recognition that the plan needs to also be founded on data and technical analysis. Engaging the Community Our team has taken a variety of approaches to understand desires for the future within Gwinnett County. We have already conducted a series of community open houses throughout the County, with many more to come. At these meetings – with an average attendance of about 30 people – residents were able to participate in a variety of exercises designed to generate conversation and solicit feedback. These meetings have been supplemented by other engagement opportunities in the community including speaking engagements to business and civic groups and the regular convening of a citizen Planning Advisory Committee. THE UNIFIED PLAN In the state of Georgia, municipal governments must retain their Qualified Local Government Status in order to be eligible for a variety of state funded programs. To maintain this status, communities must meet minimum planning standards developed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which Gwinnett County exceeds through it’s Unified Plan which is called a comprehensive plan in other jurisdictions. The 2030 Unified Plan was adopted in February 2009 and now a new envisioning through the year 2040 must be adopted by February 2019. This plan update is being used to establish a long term vision for Gwinnett County and to identify short term incremental steps that can be used to achieve this vision. As such, this plan envisions Gwinnett County in the year 2040 and asks three fundamental questions: 1. Where do we want to go? 2. How do we get there? 3. How will the County’s infrastructure (such as transportation and sewer) interface with land use, economic development, parks, open spaces, and housing policies to ensure that Gwinnett remains a “preferred place” to live and work? We also put a lot of focus in going to where people already are. This includes “intercept” interviews where we approach people going about their daily business to discuss the future of the County and “Pop Up Events” where we will often have a booth at community events and festivals. Through these activities, we have already received a lot of great input and dialogue at locations such as Santa Fe Mall and County parks as well as at events as varied as the State of the County, a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, and a Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival. We’ve also targeted specific populations using a variety of techniques including participating in radio interviews at Spanish language radio stations La Raza and VidaAtlanta, reaching out to young people (including an appearance at Lilburn Middle School), and even conducting a marketing style focus group of young adults. In the early Fall of 2017, Pond was selected by Gwinnett County to develop the County’s 2040 Unified Plan. Our selection for this plan puts Pond in rare and privileged company: the opportunity to plan the future of the County anticipated to soon be the most populous in the State of Georgia. Gwinnett County also happens to be the Southeast’s most diverse community and is home to Pond’s headquarters and about one third of our entire workforce! The Pond planning team, with subconsultant TSW, after a community open house at Bogan Park Getting input on the future of Gwinnett County!