On April 16, leaders from across Tampa Bay will meet to discuss sustainable growth. One Bay, the group hosting the meeting, has deemed the event the Congress of Regional Leaders.
The One Bay Liveable Communities Initiative is a "regional visional process" that grew from the Tampa Bay Partnership Regional Research and Education Foundation. It is committed to long-term thinking and planning to make the seven counties that comprise the Tampa Bay region a thriving and sustainable mega region by the year 2050. The counties included in the initiative are Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota.
The April 16 meeting is a culmination of polls, surveys and workshops that resulted from the Reality Check of 2007. The data collected indicates a need and desire for a more proactive and deliberate approach to planning.
"When we looked at the data, it was interesting because there were common guiding principles across transit, water and environmental areas," explains Betty Carlin, a spokesperson for the Tampa Bay Partnership. "It's telling us these are the things that people think are important. People really don't want to see growth happen as it has in the past. We want to do it differently. So now we have to put community leaders together to share the vision and make it happen."
Dan Mahurin, chairman of SunTrust Bank and chair of One Bay, sees the meeting as a celebrated outcome as well as an exciting launch.
"This event is a celebration of several years of great input and hard work from across the community to develop a shared vision for Tampa Bay. It is also a turning point for us to bring leaders back together to begin planning how we can implement this vision."
The meeting will take place at the Tampa Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Dan Mahurin, SunTrust