path for a sustainable future

Envisioning Our Future

begin with the end in mind.

– stephen r. covey

The Sustainable Development Plan included a significant public outreach process, beginning with the ENVISION OUR FUTURE Public Workshop. Additional information about this workshop can be found below. The visioning process helps to define a desired future for Onondaga County built upon the ideas and input of County residents and stakeholders. Recognizing the aspirations of the County allows for a common starting point for all future actions to be established.


The ENVISION OUR FUTURE Public Workshop was designed to gain insight from County residents to develop a shared vision for the future. (this map indicates where workshop participants came from in the County). This shared vision, along with input gathered as part of the remaining outreach efforts, forms the basis of the Sustainable Development Plan. This meeting was also broadcast via live webinar to allow for residents to participate online.

The workshop began with opening remarks from Onondaga County Executive Mahoney and an overview of the planning process. Breakout sessions were then held for each of the three components of sustainability – economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, and social sustainability. The purpose of these sessions was to allow participants to discuss in more detail their vision of a future Onondaga County as it related to these topic areas.

After the breakout sessions, all ideas were posted and participants reconvened to review and vote on the comments provided during each session. Each participant was given four stickers to place next to the comments they felt were most important for the future sustainability of Onondaga County. After the meeting, the comments were aggregated into generalized categories (e.g., “reuse land and avoid spreading out” and “limit greenfield development” were grouped into the “control sprawl” category) and the votes were tallied for each category.

Based on the participants’ votes, the following comments were identified as being the most important (click to enlarge):

The ENVISION OUR FUTURE Public Workshop was the first in a series of outreach efforts exploring how decisions made by government, businesses and residents impact the natural environment, the regional economy, and quality of life in Onondaga County. Additional outreach efforts conducted as part of the Sustainable Development Plan included:

  • Meetings with individual municipalities
  • Focus Group meetings with stakeholders
  • Community group presentations

A summary of these efforts can be found on the Participation page. To be kept abreast of any new participation opportunities, please check the Announcements page frequently.