As Jacksonville Community Council Inc. prepares for the JAX2025 community visioning project, its staff reviewed the hundreds of studies produced throughout the area since Jacksonville Insight was released in 1992.
“We looked at 230 visions, programs and planning documents from the past 20 years,” said JCCI President Ben Warner at a JCCI Forward young professionals’ forum Wednesday evening.
Residents produced 10 priorities in the Insight report. The JAX2025 report is expected to be released in May and JCCI will work on its implementation for the next 13 years, Warner said.
Those hundreds of studies paint a vision of a vibrant, healthy city. JAX2025 will update that vision with current thinking, although the collective vision from past studies is comprehensive.
Here is a small sampling of what Jacksonville organizations and initiatives have said about how they wish to see the city.
Arts, culture, recreation
• “Our vision is to promote Duval County as a leading cultural center in Florida where lives are enriched and community is strengthened through art and culture.” Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, 2012.
• “Jacksonville’s arts and cultural community shines bright with standout museums, boutique galleries and performing arts galore. World-renowned artistic geniuses meld with an explosion of local artists, creating a blend of museums, festivals and performing arts.” Visit Jacksonville and the Beaches, 2012.
• “We are committed to serving the youth of Northeast Florida and believe participation in the arts can be the catalyst for extraordinary change. To that end, we will continue to grow our programming until we reach our vision for tomorrow, and every child has equal access to an arts-rich education.” Cathedral Arts Project, 2012.
• “Opportunities are abundant for recreational activities in Jacksonville. From cool, refreshing swimming pools to numerous outdoor activities to team sports to enjoying the beauty of the city’s natural settings — there is something for everyone here!” Parks & Recreation, 2012.
• “Jacksonville’s image is largely based on the condition of Downtown. If Downtown is vibrant, Jacksonville as a region becomes more attractive to businesses, investors, young professionals, and visitors. Downtown’s success directly impacts business retention and relocation creating jobs and stability for our local economy.” Moving Downtown Forward, 2011.
• “Downtown is a thriving, 24-hour neighborhood with a variety of dining, entertainment, cultural and housing options. The experience of coming to Downtown Jacksonville is unlike any experience in Northeast Florida.” Downtown Jacksonville — 2010, 2004.
• “It’s an axiom that every great city has a great heart: the historical, business and cultural center of the community. Without its heart, a city has no shared identity — it is instead merely a confederation of individual neighborhoods and commercial nodes.” Turning the Corner, 2010.
• “Jacksonville aspires to be one of the world’s great cities. Downtown is the heart of Jacksonville and its vitality is critical to the city’s future as a world-renowned livable place. The community and its leaders believe Downtown Jacksonville continues to be the regional capital for commerce, government, culture and entertainment. It will feature pedestrian development in new and historic neighborhoods. It will have ample green space accessible to an intensive urban park along the St. Johns River. It will have a strong, progressive transportation system.” Downtown Master Plan, 2000.
• “Jacksonville is the celebration of a great, international river and extensive public green space, where city parks and attractive water features are essential components of busy, sustainable urban neighborhoods.” Downtown Master Plan, 2000.
• “All great cities of the world have a nucleus, a center, a soul. A city simply cannot prosper economically or qualitatively without a vibrant, functioning downtown. A fun, energetic and productive center city is vital to every successful region, including ours . . . Downtown vitality has two dimensions. First, a vibrant city center delivers tangible economic benefits to the entire city – not just those living Downtown. But beyond that, it is a symbol of community cohesion, partnership between the private and the public sectors, quality of life, local pride, external reputation, and community history.” Northbank Redevelopment Task Force, 2011.
• “Jacksonville’s vision for the future is clear — to be a place where businesses will thrive while preserving the area’s natural resources and pristine surroundings. Forward-thinking companies see a great future here. A perfect combination of low cost of living and high quality of life. The ideal blend of business and pleasure.” JAXUSA Partnership, 2012.
• “Northeast Florida is a magnet for talent and businesses seeking an innovative workforce.” Innovate Northeast Florida, 2012.
• “Before 2020, Duval County will be a harmonious and business-friendly environment that supports a vibrant, diversified and growing economy with ample opportunities for productive employment, the capacity to fund public services and a high standard of living shared widely among its citizens.” Blueprint for Prosperity, 2007.
• “To attract, create and retain jobs in Northeast Florida, regional action is required in five primary areas: creating jobs in key regional growth industries, building and maintaining an educated and skilled workforce, encouraging the growth of small business, improving the region’s marketing elements, and securing regional leadership for sustainable economic growth.” Recession Recovery … and Beyond, 2011.
• The business culture and norms in Jacksonville will include corporate policies that protect against harassment and employees will feel safe and comfortable being “out” in the workplace, as “a better work environment creates a better product, and is more attractive to potential employees.” Out in Jacksonville, 2007.
• “All children deserve a quality public education.” Building the Future.
• “Every child enters kindergarten ready to read, ready to learn, and ready to succeed.” Jacksonville Early Literacy Partnership, 2005.
• “Jacksonville’s ability to grow a knowledge-based economy … (is enhanced by) a wide variety of doctoral programs and academic research that result in science and technology innovation.” Attracting and Retaining Talent, 2006.
• “Before 2020, Duval County will value education, and have a high expectation of educational excellence in preparing our citizens for life and employment in the 21st century.” Blueprint for Prosperity, 2007.
• “Jacksonville’s children are safe, healthy and prepared to succeed. Children have stable, nurturing families, children enter kindergarten prepared to learn, children grow and develop during out-of-school time. Children get special help when they need it.” Jacksonville Children’s Commission, 2010-11 Annual Report.
• “Dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all residents by the promotion of lifelong physical activity and healthy lifestyles through education, promotion, programs, resources, materials and events.” Mayor’s Council on Fitness and Well-being, 2012.
• “The region provides good access to quality health care and health-supportive services, including mental health services, regardless of location or socioeconomic status. A regional multi modal transportation network ensures physical access to services, while a robust network of social services ensures meaningful access.” First Coast Vision, 2011.
Local government and civic involvement
• “Leadership and public policy enable a vibrant, diverse and competitive environment to flourish. This environment is safe and predictable, both as a place to live and as a business investment.” First Coast Vision, 2011.
• “Local governmental bodies in the region are led by competent, representative, and responsive elected and appointed officials, they provide public services effectively and equitably to citizens, and citizens are well informed about public affairs and actively participate in civic activities.” Quality of Life, 2002.
• “Expand civic engagement, voter participation, and overall government transparency through performance measures and benchmarking systems.” Charter Revision Commission, 2010.
• “All elections are fair, accurate, and accessible.” Supervisor of Elections.
• “Good mental health is fundamental to the health and well-being of every person and our nation as a whole. We want all people to understand how to protect and improve their mental health and know when and how to seek help for themselves or someone close to them. We want our schools, businesses, health care systems, community agencies, and other settings to have the knowledge and resources they need to respond to the mental health needs of those they serve. We want all Floridians to have access to high quality, affordable and personalized treatment services, when and if the need arises. We want persons with mental illnesses to receive the support, treatment and services they need to recover and live full lives in their communities.” Mental Health America of Northeast Florida, 2012.
• “The St. Johns Riverkeeper mission is to work on behalf of the community for clean and healthy waters in the St. Johns River, its tributaries and its wetlands, through citizen-based advocacy.” St. Johns Riverkeeper, 2012.
• The Duval County Health Department’s vision is for “a healthier future for the people of Greater Jacksonville, Florida.” “A safe and healthy environment is one form of preventive medicine you cannot get from your doctor or drugstore. Yet it is crucial to your family and community’s well-being.” Duval County Health Department, 2012.
• The city will be cleaner and greener, free of ash from solid waste incinerators used nearly 100 years ago. Project New Ground, 2012.
• “Enhancing neighborhood parks is critical to ensuring a strong quality of life for all Jacksonville residents. A key goal is to turn Jacksonville’s park system from the biggest to the best — one that serves as a model for cities throughout the nation.” Neighborhood Park Improvements, 2012.
• “Public-safety agencies in the region provide rescue, fire and law-enforcement services with excellence, and citizens generally experience a low level of crime and a high level of personal safety.” Quality of Life, 2002.
• Good health is promoted, lives are saved, accidents are prevented, and Jacksonville is a safe and healthy environment. The Northeast Florida Safety Council, 2012.
• “The Duval County corrections system provides a wide variety of education, employment-related, and life-skill training opportunities designed to help prepare offenders for a stable, productive lifestyle after release.” Services for Ex-Offenders, 2001.
• “All people come together throughout their lives to enhance body, mind and spirit, in an environment of fun, harmony and friendship.” Jewish Community Alliance, 2012.
• “Every baby deserves the best possible start in life and should be raised by a healthy family in a caring, prosperous community.” Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition, 2012.
• “Fair treatment and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital or familial status, pregnancy or ancestry.” Jacksonville Human Rights Commission
• “All residents deserve to age gracefully and with dignity, celebrating their culmination of life rather than viewing it as a time of decline.” Aging True.
• “All women move forward, advancing in leadership and community activities.” Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women.
Transportation and mobility
• “Residents and businesses have access to safe and reliable transportation choices to move people and goods efficiently and comfortably throughout our community.” JTA Consolidated Plan, 2012.
• “We link land use with resources and mobility. We provide mobility choices to our residents and businesses. We fund mobility and maintain capacity. We provide medical and general mobility to all our residents, including the transportation of the disadvantaged.” First Coast Vision, 2011.
• “Make positive strides from being the third most dangerous city in the nation for cyclists and pedestrians to being one of the safest through more and better bicycle and pedestrian road infrastructure.“ Jacksonville Bicycle Coalition, 2012.