In March of 1994, Houstonians seized an opportunity created by Mayor Bob Lanier to help determine the future of our community. Over one thousand people participated in a three-day Imagine Houston forum, during which they identified the issues facing Houston and set the agenda for future discussions. During the next year, nine working groups called focus groups were formed to deal with specific topics, and met many times, always with many people:

    Community Safety
    Fostering Our Cultural Resources
    In Service to the Public
    Learning For Life
    Minding Our Natural Resources
    Taking Care of Ourselves
    Where We Live
    Where We Meet
    Where We Work

An additional group, the Youth Focus Group, was subsequently created to obtain ideas from Houston’s young people on the issues facing them.

Membership in the focus groups was open at all times to anyone; nearly one thousand Houstonians participated in discussions from March to December. The work completed by the focus groups is the result of those public discussions. Each group developed a vision statement and a list of goals and actions that can be taken to achieve the goals.

Imagine Houston was a community-wide visioning process designed to bring people together to share information, learn about each other’s viewpoints, and to develop a consensus on the issues, goals, and opportunities that will shape Houston’s future. It was intended to result in a plan that public, private and nonprofit organizations could use as guidance on how to structure programs, services, and financing to the betterment of our community.

When the project was completed and printed, it was shelved and largely forgotten - but not by the participants. It's the intention of the Smart Growth Initiative to revisit the work of those many citizens and to use it as a starting point for the next round of collaborative work in Houston.

The Imagine Houston papers:
(There are a few printed copies of these reports available)

Microsoft Word Format:
Community Safety
Fostering Our Cultural Resources
In Service to the Public
Learning For Life
Minding Our Natural Resources
Taking Care of Ourselves
Where We Live
Where We Meet
Where We Work

Acrobat PDF Format
Community Safety, Index, Appendices
Fostering Our Cultural Resources, Index, Appendices
In Service to the Public, Index, Appendices
Learning For Life, Index, Appendices
Minding Our Natural Resources, Index, Appendices
Taking Care of Ourselves, Index, Appendices
Where We Live, Index, Appendices
Where We Meet, Index, Appendices
Where We Work, Index, Appendices

Youth Report (Word) (PDF)

NOTE: The Steering Committee report "Vision Into Action", which was somewhat different from the focus groups' reports, has not been found in digital form at this time and only one photocopy of the printed piece was available. If anyone has digital or paper versions, and would be willing to share them, please let us know.