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Focusing in on Vision 2040

Focusing in on Vision 2040
Posted on 06/28/2018
Man and girl talking while sitting at a table

Safety, arts, culture, things to do, unique characteristics, a thriving sense of place. They are all things that combine together to make a community successful, vibrant and strong. And, that’s exactly what the members of the Steering Committee and Citizen Task Forces are working towards as part of Lenexa’s Vision 2040.

More than 100 community members gathered in mid-June to identify the future trends most likely to affect Lenexa in the next 20 years and the areas they want to focus on in Lenexa’s Vision 2040.

Focus Areas

To create the best vision possible four areas of focus have been identified for Vision 2040. The community volunteers will be broken in to task forces to take a deep dive into each of these big-picture issues. They include:

  • Infrastructure & Transportation – How will people will likely get around? How will the city invest in streets, stormwater and other important infrastructure to support the community?

  • Neighborhoods & Housing – What types of housing will be needed and desired? What amenities are important to include in neighborhoods? What types of neighborhoods (residential, commercial, industrial, mixed-use) will be thriving in the future?

  • Sense of Community – How do we keep Lenexa special? What qualities make our community what it is? How do we foster and grow the pride in our community?

  • Economy, Growth & Reinvestment – How should we respond to changes in the economy? What are the best strategies for managing growth? What types of reinvestment should we focus on?

Trends

A variety of trends will affect our community by 2040, but it was important to narrow down which trends had a high likelihood of affecting Lenexa and would have a high impact on how we function. During the first workshop with the Steering Committee and Citizen Task Forces, community members identified the following trends as both high impact and high likelihood:

  • Artificial intelligence – Our devices already talk to us and provide information when requested. Computers are learning from us so they can perform more functions we do ourselves today. Robotics and artificial intelligence means the types of jobs humans do and what computers do will likely change over time.

  • Sense of community – People seek out places that are meaningful. Maintaining our sense of place, identity and culture can be challenging in a growing and changing community. Unique places reflect the character of the community or neighborhood by integrating arts and cultural industries throughout neighborhoods, developments and other community assets.

  • Elderly population growing – the total Johnson County population is expected to increase 57% from 2010 to 2040, but the 60+ group will more than double in that timeframe. They will make up about 15% of the county’s population in 2040.

  • Affordable starter homes –Rising costs, regulations and neighborhood opposition have made the economics of an affordable home harder for builders. That’s lead to many homebuilders focusing on the higher-end market to maximize profits, making it more difficult for people to purchase starter homes or affordable homes later in life.

  • Smart cities – A smart city incorporates information and communication technologies to enhance the quality and performance of urban services such as energy, transportation and utilities in order to reduce resource consumption, waste and overall costs.

  • Resiliency – an effort to build greater resilience to drastic changes and stresses that a community may face. Strategies to enhance a community’s resiliency include strengthening job and housing opportunities, leveraging community assets, designing with natural systems and harnessing innovation and technology.

Lenses

The Steering Committee and Citizen Task Forces also identified several umbrella issues, or lenses, which will permeate across all of the focus areas. They will be exploring each focus area with these lenses in mind, asking whether the vision and strategies they consider:

  • Sustainability – are these ideas realistic and doable?

  • Equity and Inclusion – do the ideas benefit everyone and promote diversity?

  • Safety – do the ideas continue to keep our community safe?

  • Technology & Innovation – how will these ideas be impacted by the rapid pace of technology growth?

Now that the focus areas, trends and lenses are identified, the Steering Committee and Task Forces can get to work planning Lenexa’s future. Do you want your opinion heard? Fill out our four-question survey, or stop by a Vision 2040 booth at a community event. And, don’t forget to mark Sept. 20 on your calendar. We’re inviting the whole community to come out and give input, hear speakers and participate in activities at Vision 2040 Fest.


Published June 28, 2018