Communities today face anynumber of pressing concerns, including requests for re-zoning, demands for affordable housingor the loss of a major employer. Unfortunately, decisions about these issues are frequently made in the absence of a real vision of how residents want their communities tolook in the future. This manual provides community residents with a process for thinking about and planning for their mutual future. Visioning is a process by which a community envisions thefuture it wants and then plans how to achieve it. A key to the success of this process is that the goals and action plans are firmly rooted in the goals and values of the local community. The process also places agreat deal of emphasis on public participation, not only at the beginning stages, but throughout the entire planning process. Structure of the guide. This publication is divided into ten chapters. The first describes the visioning process which leads communities through a visioning workshop, gathering and analyzing dataand developing action plans. The following chapters focus on substantive issues: downtown revitalization, economic development, housing, land use, natural resources, public works, transportation and workforce development. Purpose The manual has two aims. First, it can be used to design a community visioning process—either a general community vision or one on a specific issue. We provide guidelines on how to move from developing a community vision to an action plan and finally to implementation of projects. Second, local officials are asked increasingly to design public participation processes for various issues (for example, housing, work-force development, natural resources) affecting their communities. These mandates are frequently made by the federal and state governments as a condition for receiving grants or loans. This guide provides communities with a framework for organizing this public participation and will help identify aprocess that will be more meaningful than simply soliciting public input.