Old Town Vision Process
City of Pflugerville selected Kendig Keast Collaborative to lead its Old Town Vision project, aimed at enhancing a traditional Main Street area that was fading as a focal point in a rapidly growing suburban community near Austin. KKC was charged with facilitating a process that would build on, but follow a distinctly different path from, previous efforts at consensus building and action planning which had yielded limited results. In particular, KKC planners needed to break down complicated issues and entrenched views and then gradually work toward a renewed vision and sense of commitment to Old Town revitalization. This was accomplished through numerous interviews, three targeted stakeholder forums, three steering committee meetings, interim briefings, and combined stakeholder and community-wide forums—all completed within 49 intensive days.
The resulting report is accessible to residents and businesses while also providing the level of guidance sought by City officials and staff. A colorful fold-out summary uses graphics, an easily-navigable action agenda table, and bulleted text to convey the essence of the process results and direction. The implementation emphasis is clear throughout, especially by spelling out the what, when and who of making specific outcomes happen. The agenda highlights a first set of “Top 5” initiatives to pursue; a next set which City staff can readily address; and a third set of other possibilities. Use of a traffic signal motif quickly conveys the status of potential actions: green for “Go” (strong support and a path toward implementation), yellow for “Caution” (lukewarm support and likely obstacles to overcome), and red for “Stop” (little or no support and limited chance of success). The report also points out specific actions taken by two other high-growth communities, emphasizing similarities to and differences from the Pflugerville scenario. KKC planners were praised for building trust early on, enabling their pointed observations to be received favorably when it came time to shed their neutrality and offer definitive recommendations to City Council.