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Imagine Hillsborough 2040 receives top honors at the 23rd Annual Future of the Region Awards  

On March 27, the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) held its 23rd Annual Future of the Region Awards program, recognizing outstanding achievements and contributions benefiting the regional community. Imagine Hillsborough 2040 was pleased to Imagine Hillsborough 2040 receive two top honors at the awards luncheon held at the Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park - First Place in the Public Education category and the One Bay Award. Award recipients were selected with consideration to regional quality of life benefit, benefit to the environment, innovation, and cost effectiveness.

Imagine 2040 is a partnership between the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the Planning Commission. We were privileged to work together with nearly 6,000 citizens, businesses, and other community stakeholders to prepare the Imagine2040 Vision in coordination and cooperation with our public and private partners in planning and marketing:

- Transportation for Economic Development- Hillsborough County
- Imagine 2040 Working Group- City of Tampa
- City of Temple Terrace- City of Plant City
- Florida's Largest Home Show- Tampa Bay Times
- Tampa Bay Grand Prix- HTV
- Osprey Observer- The Patch
- Tindale Oliver- Jacobs
- Cambridge Systematics- Atkins
"We are proud of our collaboration with the MPO," said Melissa Zornitta, Planning Commission Executive Director. "This was a huge team effort for our entire staff and planning partners. It's great to be recognized for Imagine 2040 and what it means to work together with our citizens to see what types of growth strategies will yield the greatest results for our community."

Public Education Category
Imagine Hillsborough 2040 garnered the greatest amount of public participation ever achieved by the Hillsborough MPO and Planning Commission. Imagine 2040 was a two part public education campaign with a call-to-action for citizens who live, work, or play in Hillsborough County to participate in planning for the future. 

Using an online tool called MetroQuest, a customized, interactive survey was developed to encourage meaningful participation in a fun, game-like setting. Citizens across our region were invited to share thoughts and new ideas - in a variety of ways - from small neighborhood meetings to large community events and through technology, so anyone could have their say on how our region should grow without having to leave the comfort of home. All types of news and social media, as well as eNewsletters, were used extensively throughout all parts of Imagine 2040 to attract public engagement.

The One Bay Regional Vision has drawn upon thousands of citizens to create a shared regional vision to plan where future population and employment growth should occur based upon responsible land use, mobility, economic and environmental sustainability. This award is sponsored by the One Bay Committee, which includes the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Tampa Bay Partnership Regional Research and Education Foundation, Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, and the Urban Land Institute Tampa Bay District Council. Imagine Hillsborough 2040 worked together with the citizens and businesses to turn the challenges that come with growth into opportunities for a thriving future by listening to what our region is saying and offering choices for consideration also reflected in the One Bay Regional Vision.
"Imagine 2040 was designed for today's on-line shopper, complete with pictures, product specs and price tags, to make it easy for everyone to participate using texting and iPads as well as at our usual community meetings," said Beth Alden, Executive Director of the Hillsborough MPO. "We hope everyone had as much fun designing their ideal future as we had putting the pieces together."

Input from Imagine 2040 has been used to guide the development of the Plan Hillsborough 2040 Transportation Plan, which was adopted in November 2014, and is currently being used to update the Comprehensive Plans for Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City and Hillsborough County.

The Planning Commission is the official Land Planning Agency for Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City, and Unincorporated Hillsborough County. The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization is a transportation policy board comprised of representatives from local governments and transportation agencies focusing on transportation planning and programming decisions that support the mobility needs and economic development of these jurisdictions.



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Media contact information:

Lynn Merenda
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