Got Ten Minutes? You Can Help Shape the Future of Dane County


    What should Madison look like in the future? And what should the quality of life be like? Should we have green energy? More affordable housing? Better Schools?

    Starting on September 12, all these questions can be answered by anyone. Your voice can be part of deciding every aspect of life across Dane County for the future of our generation and the next one.

    Everyone across Dane County is encouraged to participate in a survey at and make themselves heard about the future of the community. A lot is at stake with this survey. It is the chance to shape the quality of life from here on out.

    Anyone high school age or older who lives, works, or spends time in Dane County is eligible for the survey, which is open from  now until November 12. The survey launched yesterday morning with events in several different venues in an effort to get the community, especially youth, to participate.

    Lane’s Bakery, The Farmers Market, the Norwegian Heritage Center, Waunakee High School, Crossroads Coffee House and Madison Colleges’ Truax Campus were some of the sites where the survey launched.

    At Truax Wednesday afternoon, organizers of the Greater Madison Vision were on hand to answer questions and make the announcement of the survey to the busy lunch crowd in the Truax Cafeteria.

    A Greater Madison Vision, the organization behind the survey, is executing a mission to create a shared vision and plan in order to guide decisions about growth in Dane County. The group’s leaders want to use public input to help decide how to create exceptional quality of life, economic opportunity, and a healthy environment.

    But what people who take the survey will actually prioritize when deciding what they want the future to look like is anyone’s guess.

    “Part of it is we don’t know what people are going to say,” said Bill White, A Greater Madison Vision Steering Committee member told Madison365. “We’re hoping to get at least ten thousand responses in the next few days so we can fashion the future to make it what people want it to be.”

    Over the next 25 years, Dane County’s population is expected to grow by over 150,000 people. The online survey shows four alternative futures to consider. Members of the community would then choose which things are most important to them, which would subsequently give more weight to one of the four possible futures.

    “The survey presents four futures for what Madison will look like in twenty or thirty years and what actions communities could take to respond to major issues like population growth, big technology changes, environmental changes, social changes,” Steve Steinhoff, Deputy Director of Capitol Area Regional Planning Commission said. “And each of those futures have different actions that communities could take related to green energy, affordable housing, walkable communities, preserving farmland and promoting technology. People who take the survey can look at those actions and prioritize ‘This is what I think is most important’ and essentially create their own future.”

    The survey only takes about ten minutes to complete and will be well worth the time. It’s our community and our future. In November, the results will be collected and the committee will begin work on looking at what type of environment future generations around Dane County have to exist in.