Chapter 5 | Projecting Possible Futures for the Community


It is always fun to dream about what might be, but in planning it is also important to focus on what can be. This chapter deals with methods of determining what is feasible as part of a comprehensive planning process.

Weblinks from Chapter


  1. Working separately or in a small group, make a list of four or five issues facing the community in which you live or study; then compile the lists (combining similar items that simply use different terminology). How many issues are there? Conducting this exercise with a large group will usually yield only eight to twelve dominant issues.
  2. Working in a small group, assess the strengths and weaknesses of the community in which you live or attend school.
  3. Design a process for involving a representative group of people from the community in a process to assess strengths and weaknesses.

Discussion Questions

  1. Using the results of exercise 2, choose two or three weaknesses that might reasonably be considered constraints on the future of your community. Can you think of ways to redefine the problems hidden in those weaknesses so as to mitigate or eliminate them—or even to turn them into strengths? Of what system are those problems a part? Who or what controls that system? Can you think of ways to make that locally controllable—or at least subject to local influence?