Regionalism and a high quality of life were top priorities at the Reality Check exercise last May. The one-day visioning exercise included 300 leaders from business, politics, environmental, development and civic sectors to discuss and explore how to accommodate the anticipated growth in our region while sustaining a high quality of life. Participants issued a definitive message that Hampton Roads communities need to work together on common goals to support sustained economic growth and vibrant communities, while maintaining the region’s diversity and unique characteristics that make the region a top tourist and retirement destination.
Many of those participants gathered again last week to hear the results of that exercise and to learn what the very first Reality Check has done for the state of Utah. Robert Grow, CEO of Envision Utah, commended organizers on such a high level of participation, encouraging organizers to ensure the next steps help today’s decision makers understand the long-term consequences of choices being made and how those decisions will affect each other.
Moderator, Joel Rubin assembled a panel to discuss what was learned and what next steps are needed for the region to become a better competitor in the global economy. Dwight Farmer, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) Executive Director, was a part of that panel and he hinted that the region is on the brink of some very exciting opportunities. “The next phase of the strategic visioning effort will allow us to explore all alternatives to help regional leaders make wise decisions in the face of uncertainty. The HRPDC is beginning a strategic planning effort that will springboard from this initial exercise,” Farmer said.
Participants were encouraged to sign-up for their areas of interest relative to regionalism, quality of life, business and economics, land use patterns, transportation and the environment to remain engaged in the next phases of work.
Hampton Roads Reality Check was presented in partnership with the Urban Land Institute of Hampton Roads, The ODU Center for Real Estate and Economic Development, Hampton Roads Partnership and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.
Photo Courtesy Rubin Communications