the Source Weekly: So, Brian, these things are pretty touchy feely. Why should people get involved?Brian Rankin: A vision without any follow through is fluff. But a vision with follow through is powerful. That’s why I think it’s important. These vision projects set expectations that ideally drive decision making in our community. If you don’t have the vision, you could very easily end up off the mark.
SW: How does this process tangibly contribute to a well-planned city?
BR: It tells our decision makers and the elected bodies what we find important and about the types of projects we should complete. This goes for all agencies with governing boards— Bend metro, Bend Parks and Rec and the school board.
It helps us writes grants. It shows that Bend has its act together enough to have a vision, and that can help attract investment on the private side and on the public side. This tells big companies like the next game changer or Apple, for instance, about the dedication the community has to itself and it speaks to the quality and the nature of the people in the community.
And it’s also a place where people are focusing on a vision without bringing local politics to bear and that’s unique. I will admit it’s hard to get that as a city planner. But here I can tap into this other source, this honest community vision—it’s more truthful, more heartfelt and to me that’s more useful.
TS: What does your bubble say?
BR: Investing in infrastructure. It’s something that doesn’t have panache, or a glitzy, cool sustainability element to it. But it’s like your house. If you paint it a bunch of cool colors but your foundation is rotting, then your house is not in order. That rather tedious subject needs to be part of a healthy vision.