The Internet is littered with pretty plans for community improvement that have never been realized. Glossy, four-color documents that gather dust on bookshelves don’t transform communities. Engaged stakeholders, bold visions, concrete objectives with measurable outcomes, and early-action projects that produce visible results: those are the elements of a strategic plan that mobilizes communities, businesses, and investors to act.

That’s the formula fine-tuned by LISC Chicago’s New Communities Program and its director Joel Bookman in 20 Chicago neighborhoods, in “Quality-of-Life” plans that mobilized hundreds of stakeholders to take control of the future of their communities and inspire thousands more to action.

That, and work plans, that spelled out responsibilities, resources, timelines, and a system of community accountability within the plans that kept everyone informed – and on track.

Community Planning in Mesa

Strategic Planning by Joel Bookman in Chicago Communities