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7 Municipalities To Model Your City’s Strategic Plan After

These municipalities have top-of-the-line strategic plans in place. See what you can learn (and borrow) from each!

Dylan, Founder and Managing Partner at ClearPoint, has over 25 years of experience working with organizations to improve their performance management and strategy execution processes.

A municipal strategic plan is a response to the call for a grand city vision. Dr. Gerald Gordon said it best when he defined strategic planning as a “systematic process by which a community anticipates and plans for its future.” It takes the statements and promises about the future of the city and turns them into real benefits.

To properly plan and execute a city strategic plan, you have to consider the things you need in order to grow, thrive, and operate as a healthy and successful municipality. Those will be at the crux of your strategic plan.

Find out why your city’s strategic plan isn’t living up to its full potential in this free ebook.

If you’re just getting started, the seven cities listed below offer a shining example of how to properly execute a strategic plan—take a look and see what you can borrow from each!

7 Municipalities To Model Your City’s Strategic Plan After

1. Baltimore, Maryland

The Baltimore CitiStat program is a well-known performance-based management system used to continually improve the quality of services provided to Baltimore citizens. While some issues with the current CitiStat program have been called to question in recent years, the model they’ve created is still used across the country. Take a look at the article How You Can Apply The CitiStat Model To Your Agency for more information.

2. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

If you are in the process of developing your city strategic plan, Fort Lauderdale’s citizen engagement plan is a great example to follow. Feedback from citizens is ignored far too often, and Fort Lauderdale recognized this negative trend. So they took the time to seek out citizen feedback through interviews, open houses, town halls with the mayor and commissioners, and a social website over a two-and-a-half-year period. The feedback they gathered during this time was used to create their 25-year vision (which was ultimately used in developing their short-term visions).

3. Fort Worth, Texas

Interdepartmental communication can be difficult in any city—especially when that city has over 800,000 citizens. Fort Worth faced this issue head-on and created a department performance report that can be accessed by any city employee. This report contains scorecards and dashboards for every department, which enables employees to keep up with initiatives and KPIs in other departments.

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

If your municipality wants to increase social media outreach, look first to Las Vegas.

They’ve taken their social media a step further than many other cities by adjusting their strategy via monitored tweets. Their social media program is based on their strategic plan, so all published content is used to communicate an aspect of the plan itself.

5. Mobile, Alabama

Mobile One is the strategic plan that Mobile came up with to tackle the issue of smaller, competing strategic plans in various areas of the city. City leaders recognized how having multiple plans—a downtown plan, a capital expense plan, a parks plan, a zoning plan, etc.—was limiting citywide alignment, so they set out to create a comprehensive strategic plan that all departments (and citizens) could get behind.

6. Olathe, Kansas

A large part of an effective strategic plan is the process that goes into refreshing it. Olathe has an entire strategic cycle with a clear approach to inputs and outputs. A budget-based feedback loop between departments and organizational scorecards assures that dedicated resources are achieving the desired results.

7. Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is serious about sustainability—serious enough to integrate it with their strategic plan. Because of this, their planning efforts often take sustainable best practices into consideration and projects are built on this data.

A Final Tip

Keep in mind that these cities have been working on their strategic plan for years. If you’re just getting started, don’t worry about immediately getting to the places these cities are in—just get started! You don’t need to be a social media wizard like Las Vegas or a community engagement master like Fort Lauderdale right off the bat. You have to start somewhere. And having simple, consistent processes for creating your strategic plan will pay off in the end. 

7 Municipalities To Model Your City’s Strategic Plan After