News

Imagine Central Arkansas Launches New Phase of Community Outreach

“Are We There Yet?” Lets Residents Choose How to Achieve Regional Vision and Win an iPad

Imagine Central Arkansas is pleased to announce the launch of a new phase of outreach highlighted by an “infoGame,” an interactive online activity. “Are We There Yet?” lets residents of central Arkansas set goals for the region’s future, and then make decisions about major trends, policy options, and funding sources to meet those goals.

“Are We There Yet?” is designed to inform central Arkansans about conditions affecting our future, and to obtain important feedback regarding emerging trends and policy directions that will predominate the region over the next three decades. Topics included in the online activity include transportation infrastructure, walkability, and revenue sources. You can play “Are We There Yet?” here through mid-July.

As an added bonus, participants who complete the infogame between June 21 and July 19, may enter for a chance to win an iPad mini. Visit Imagine Central Arkansas for more details.

In addition to “Are We There Yet?”, there will be a number of opportunities to connect with Imagine Central Arkansas over the summer, including:

  • Hometown Visits at festivals, special events, expos and other community gatherings,
  • Guest speaking engagements as requested, and
  • Online 24 hours a day, seven days a week at ImagineCentralArkansas.org.

Those interested in having Imagine Central Arkansas for a Hometown Visit or speaking engagement may contact Casey Covington at (501) 372-3300 or covington@metroplan.org. Information on scheduled events can be found here.

Tinkerfest 2013

Last Saturday, Metroplan facilitated the Cardboard Metropolis station for the Museum of Discovery’s second annual Tinkerfest, an event that invites children to take a day to play, take apart, and build to their heart’s content.

How does one build a Cardboard Metropolis?

Step 1. Determine where to place your roads and how to use your land appropriately.

Step 2. Safety first. Wear a hard hat, and get your construction materials.

Step 3. Use your imagination and other buildings for inspiration. Like the Empire State Building? No problem.

Step 4. Get a little help from your friends. (Hire family members.)

Step 5. Elect a leader and unveil your city!

To find out more about Tinkerfest and the Museum of Discovery, visit their website at museumofdiscovery.org.

Next Round of Community Outreach Coming Soon

Imagine Central Arkansas is getting ready to launch our next round of community outreach, featuring Are We There Yet?, an interactive online InfoGame that lets participants choose how and when the regional Vision becomes a reality. Anyone can participate at any time online, but face-to-face interaction with central Arkansans is also strongly encouraged! If you would like to us to visit your special event or group meeting, please contact Judy Watts at (501) 372-3300 or jwatts@metroplan.org.

Choose Your Future Results: Central Arkansans Choose Transportation Options, Parks/Natural Areas and the Environment

After a successful Imagine Central Arkansas kickoff campaign last Fall, a second round of public outreach was launched at the beginning of 2013. The backbone of this outreach effort is Choose Your Future, an engaging, interactive online game where participants identify their top priorities for central Arkansas and then see how their responses to various future scenarios impact those priorities.

Choose Your Future reached central Arkansans through a variety of means, including e-Blasts, social media, targeted print and online ads and at hosted and hometown visits throughout the region. To date, over 1,000 people have taken part in Choose Your Future.

 

A wealth of information on central Arkansans’ priorities and preferred strategies for our future can be derived from the results. Key findings include:

  • Most central Arkansans who completed Choose Your Future prioritize convenience, parks and natural areas, protecting the environment and having transportation choices.
  • Overwhelmingly, participants chose alternative modes of transportation, including transit, walking and cycling over road building as strategies for tackling future mobility challenges.
  • Premium transit, light rail in particular, remains a popular strategy of choice among central Arkansans.
  • Participants would rather get more out of existing roads than add lanes or build new ones.

 

Participants were presented with eight future scenarios for central Arkansas, and were asked what strategies would they choose for addressing challenges in the future.  The overall top choices by category for all the respondents are shown in the table below.

Other key findings include:

Faulkner County residents:

  • Placed a lower priority on less government spending.
  • Chose building light rail transit or bus rapid transit as a priority strategy to increase mobility.
  • Chose building a new light rail as a priority strategy to address rush hour congestion.

Lonoke County residents:

  • Placed a higher priority on faster commutes and household transportation cost and placed a lower priority on the environment and transportation choice.
  • Chose building new and wider roads and building rail transit or bus rapid transit as a priority strategy to increase mobility.
  • Chose building a new light rail as a priority strategy to address rush hour congestion.
  • Chose investing in new and expanded transportation corridors as a priority strategy for helping grow central Arkansas’ economy.

Saline County residents:

  • Placed a higher priority on faster commutes and less government spending and a lower priority on the environment and transportation choice.
  • Chose building new and wider roads as a priority strategy to increase mobility.

Central Arkansans under 18 years old:

  • Placed a higher priority on faster commutes and less government spending and a lower priority on parks and natural areas.

Walkers:

  • Placed a higher priority on transportation choice and the environment and a lower priority on faster commutes and less government spending.
  • Chose building rail transit or bus rapid transit as a strategy to increase mobility.

Carpoolers:

  • Placed a higher priority on transportation choice and parks natural areas and a lower priority on faster commutes and less government spending.

Bus Riders:

  • Placed a higher priority on transportation choice and less government spending and a lower priority on faster commutes and the environment.
  • Chose expanding bus service as a strategy to increase mobility.
  • Chose providing more walkable/bikeable streets within our neighborhoods as a strategy to get Central Arkansans walking and biking more.

Bicyclists:

  • Placed a higher priority on transportation choice and the environment and a lower priority on less government spending and faster commutes.
  • Chose more bikes trails and sidewalks as a strategy to increase mobility.
  • Chose building a new light rail or bus rapid transit as a priority strategies to address rush hour congestion.

Respondents with a 45-59 minute commute time:

  • Placed a higher priority on transportation choice and less regulations and a lower priority on parks and natural areas.

Respondents with a 60+ minute commute time:

  • Placed a higher priority on faster commutes, transportation cost and less government spending and a lower priority on convenience, parks, environment, and transportation choice.

Rural/country dwellers:

  • Placed a higher priority on less government spending and less regulations and a lower priority on transportation choice.

Downtown dwellers:

  • Placed a higher priority on transportation choice and a lower priority on a faster commute.

The results of Choose Your Future will be used in the next phase of Imagine Central Arkansas toward developing a shared recommended Vision for the region.

A full summary of overall findings can be downloaded here. For more information contact Casey Covington or sign up here to receive notifications of future Imagine Central Arkansas events and happenings.

Residents in Bryant, College Station and Mayflower Imagine Their Futures

Imagine Central Arkansas continues to engage residents from across the region about choices for our future. In February, Metroplan visited with the cities of Bryant, College Station, and Mayflower. Residents took part in a map activity and game that asked each player to "imagine" their respective communities with consideration of population growth in the coming years.  Neighborhoods and businesses were added.  Additional ideas that residents came up with for a vibrant community were the addition of sidewalks, parks, dog parks, and community centers. 

The results of these activities will be used in the next phase of Imagine Central Arkansas, creating a shared vision and strategies for our future. If you are interested in getting your group, school or community involved in Imagine Central Arkansas, contact Casey Covington at covington@metroplan.org or (501) 372-3300.

Choose Your Future Engages Central Arkansas on Priorities, Choices and Tradeoffs

After a successful Imagine Central Arkansas kickoff campaign last Fall, a second round of public outreach was launched at the beginning of 2013. The backbone of this outreach effort is Choose Your Future, an engaging, interactive online game where participants identified their top priorities for central Arkansas. They then saw how their responses to various future scenarios impacted those priorities.

 
Metroplan has made a number of visits throughout the region over the last few  months to engage residents and other stakeholders using Choose Your Future, including:
 
  • Little Regional Chamber Leadership class
  • Hays Senior Center in North Little Rock
  • E-Stem Charter School
  • Conway Chamber
  • Hot Springs Village
  • CALS downtown Little Rock
  • African American Leaders Forum at the Little Rock Chamber
  • Mayflower High School
  • JA Fair High School
  • Pulaski Tech Welcome Week
  • UALR Neighborhood Leadership Training
  • Hendrix College
  • Envision Bryant
 
 
To date, over 1,000 central Arkansans have completed Choose Your Future either online or at one of our events. It was a very effective educational tool by creating a greater awareness of the numerous tradeoffs that exist when making choices about our future. Just as important, the results provide a wealth of information on central Arkansans’ priorities and preferred strategies for our future. Key findings include:
 
  • Most central Arkansans who completed Choose Your Future prioritize convenience, parks and natural areas, protecting the environment and transportation choices.
  • Overwhelmingly, participants chose alternative modes of transportation, including transit, walking and cycling over road building as strategies for tackling future mobility challenges.
  • Premium transit, light rail in particular, remains a popular strategy of choice among central Arkansans.

The findings from Choose Your Future will be used in the the next phase of Imgaine Central Arkansas, building a preferred vision and strategy for the region. If you are interested in getting your group, school or community involved in Imagine Central Arkansas, contact Casey Covington at covington@metroplan.org or (501) 372-3300.

Imagine Central Arkansas Launches Next Phase of Outreach With Choose Your Future

Following up a very successful kickoff, Imagine Central Arkansas is pleased to announce the launch of a new phase of outreach highlighted by an interactive online exercise. Choose Your Future presents you with the opportunity to make decisions about our region’s future while seeing the impacts of your choices in real-time. You will be presented with various courses of action revolving around regional issues such as traffic congestion, preservation of parks and open space and economic development; how you react to these scenarios determines your results. You can play Choose Your Future here > link.

IMAGINE CENTRAL ARKANSAS ANNOUNCES TOP PLACES AND BIG IDEAS

Central Arkansans spent the past month and a half “imagining” their future and identifying key values through Imagine Central Arkansas, the regional visioning effort launched by Metroplan in mid-September. Citizens said they value the region's parks and open spaces, enjoy its family friendly atmosphere, seek greater economic and educational opportunities, and wish for increased choices in transportation.

Using an interactive online mapping tool named Treasured Places, residents identified their favorite places to live, work, play and travel throughout the region. The top ten places to date include:

1. Big Dam Bridge
2. Little Rock River Market
3. Two Rivers Park Bridge
4. Pinnacle Mountain
5. The Covered Bridge at Burns Park

Using another tool named Ideascale, central Arkansans brainstormed on ideas for the future. Ideas with the most votes to date include:

1. Finishing the river trail.
2. Adopting a “Complete Streets” policy for the region.
3. Building bicycle trails connecting to popular destinations.
4. Building on less green space in the future.
5. Creating a system of trains to connect places throughout the region.

A review of all of the information collected to date reveals severals five key trends on what central Arkansans value:

  • Natural and civic spaces.
  • Places to connect and play.
  • Choice in transportation (transit, walking, bicycling).
  • Safe, family-friendly.
  • Economy/affordability, quality of life.

A full summary of findings can be downloaded here. Imagine Central Arkansas will continue to collect thoughts and ideas through the month of November. There are a number of ways to participate:

 

Central Arkansas Population Trends Report Released

Did you know that by the year 2040, the Central Arkansas region will be approaching a population of 1 million. The region in 2040 will be much more ethnically diverse. Population will be older than today, yet its rate of aging will be slowing down. The oldest Baby Boomers will be 94, and the youngest 77. The Baby Boomers will be a diminishing share of total population, while the smaller “Generation X” will be passing into retirement. The next—and somewhat larger— group, sometimes called Generation Y, will be reaching its maximum income-earning years, possibly reversing decades of slowed income growth.  Metroplan’s Demographic Review and Outlook is an annual chronicle providing demographic and housing data and insight for the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway MSA.  Read full report >> 

Glossary of Transportation & Planning Terms Is Now Available

We realize that one of the greatest challenges for citizens who wish to fully participate in the transportation planning process, is what would appear to be a requirement to learn a new language composed of acronyms, abbreviations and jargon that mean little to the average person.  To assist the citizens of central Arkansas who want to participate in the transportation planning process and gain a better understanding of transportation issues that affect them,  we have put together a Transportation and Planning Glossary with commonly used acronyms and definitions. We hope the glossary will be a useful tool to you as citizens and professionals who may be new to the field of transportation.  View Glossary >>

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Imagine Central Arkansas

day dreaming - waiting the bus by Marius Muscalu, on FlickrDo you ever find yourself daydreaming about what the future may hold? Perhaps what you’ll be doing or where you’ll be 20 or 30 years from now?

Imagine Central Arkansas is the region’s opportunity to do just that. To imagine what the future will be like…where our children will work, live and play…how they will get there.
 

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    501 W. Markham Street, Suite B
    Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
    (501) 372-3300

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