Phase III Visioning Phase

"Our Future...Our Responsibility"

In the Visioning phase, more than 2000 residents of Greater Bakersfield, including approximately 1,000 high school seniors, looked far out into the future to answer the question "What do you want our community to be in the 2020?"

In keeping with the entire Vision 2020 process, the Visioning Phase was open and inclusive with an emphasis on maximizing opportunities for community input. Ten community-wide meetings were held in locations throughout the metropolitan area while 12 mini-meetings were held at various organizations, neighborhoods, and places of business. In addition, seniors at five high schools participated in their own visioning meetings. The community-wide meetings were co-sponsored by 36 interested organizations.

Community Input

Community Sponsors

The Vision for Greater Bakersfield

This Vision for Greater Bakersfield, which is based on widespread community input during the Assessment and Visioning Phases, is expressed in 7 key areas:

  • Quality of Life
  • Downtown – the Heart of the City
  • Economic Development
  • Community Planning and Transportation
  • Education and Life-long Learning
  • Youth and Families
  • Image

The Vision that emerged was presented June 19 at a Community Celebration. A theme reflected throughout all Vision areas is Greater Bakersfield as a vibrant, economically strong community that offers the sophistication of a big city and the charm of a small town. Greater Bakersfield is place people want to be!

Participants List

Our Vision for Quality of Life

Greater Bakersfield is...

  • symbolic of the “American dream” with a family-friendly environment and affordable housing for all.
  • an inclusive, culturally diverse, and tolerant community that welcomes and celebrates all people.
  • a community that is forward-looking, friendly, safe and clean.
  • a city with esthetically-pleasing physical surroundings that provides recreation and other family-oriented activities.
  • a community that attracts and supports businesses and organizations.
  • a community that maximizes the use of trees, greenbelts, and water throughout the community, including walking and bike paths, neighborhood parks, and landscaped transportation corridors.
  • a city that maximizes the river through the use of water elements that serve as cultural and recreational resources.
  • a community with clean, healthy air.
  • a community with many diverse offerings of arts and culture for the enjoyment of all.
  • a community with museums, theaters, and live musical entertainment that are destinations for residents and visitors.

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Our Vision for Downtown: The Heart of the City

Downtown Bakersfield is...

  • an inspiring magnet for those who live, work or play there and is truly the “heart of the city”.
  • architecturally-pleasing with an emphasis on the use of water that provides an attractive backdrop for public art and sculptures, concerts and other cultural activities.
  • a safe, atmosphere that stimulates activity in a 24-hour downtown.
  • a thriving center of activity including business, retail, government, entertainment, and residential uses.
  • a collection of neighborhoods, each with its own unique aspects.
  • a place that captures our rich historical heritage.

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Our Vision for Community Planning & Transportation

Greater Bakersfield is...

  • a community with a clear set of development and land use policies that encourage in-fill development while discouraging urban sprawl and leapfrog development into prime agricultural lands.
  • a community that encourages a high level of inter-agency cooperation leading to utilization of the most efficient and cost effective services.
  • a community that maintains its small town characteristics while encouraging well-planned growth.
  • a community that values distinct neighborhoods and actively pursues preserving their character.
  • a community that is visually pleasing for the benefit of residents and visitors.
  • a community where all residents take pride in their neighborhoods.
  • a community that actively seeks to revitalize blighted areas.
  • a community that is proud of its efficient, environmentally-friendly transportation system that serves all areas of the community.
  • an international gateway with a modern airport.
  • connected to major cities in California through a high-speed rail system.

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Our Vision for Economic Development

Greater Bakersfield is...

  • a community with a well-balanced economic base that provides diverse and stable employment opportunities.
  • a business-friendly community that embraces well-planned economic growth.
  • a community that encourages a broad range of high quality employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.
  • a community that provides entry level and vocational opportunities.
  • a community where the private and public sectors cooperate to enhance economic vitality.
  • a community that develops its workforce to meet the changing needs of a dynamic economy.

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Our Vision for the Youth and Family

Greater Bakersfield is...

  • a safe and enriching community known as a great place to raise a family.
  • a community whose youth are actively engaged in the development of the community.
  • a community that values and provides opportunities for senior citizens.
  • a model community for quality, affordable childcare.
  • a community with affordable educational, cultural, social and recreational activities that engage youth of all ages.
  • a community where internships and adult mentoring are provided for our youth.
  • a community where job and learning opportunities are available for youth.
  • a community that provides opportunities for its youth so that they remain an integral part of the community.

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Our Vision for Education and Life-long Learning

Greater Bakersfield is...

  • a community that places priority on education and life-long learning for the whole community.
  • a community that recognizes the vital link between education and the prosperity of its community and residents.
  • a community that provides vocational education and training opportunities for those individuals entering or re-entering the workforce.
  • a community that offers a smooth transition from early childhood education through post graduate.
  • a community that recognizes the importance of higher education and offers a broad range of opportunities that meet the needs of a new economy.
  • a community that offers all children opportunities to learn and one that sets and meets high performance standards.
  • a community where education, business, and agencies work together to ensure responsibility for the success of our students.

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