The Project

How we grow matters.

When people, businesses and government coordinate our vision and plan for the future, we build a stronger region.

Over the next 25 years, Dane County’s population is expected to grow by almost 160,000 people – the equivalent of two Camp Randall Stadiums full of Badger fans!

Photo by Matt Schilder via Wikimedia Commons.

Our mission is to develop a shared vision and plan, called “A Greater Madison Vision,” to guide public and private decisions about how the region grows, to foster exceptional quality of life, economic opportunity and a healthy environment for all.

Getting growth right requires communities and organizations to work together. That is why leaders from business, government and non-profits across the region have launched A Greater Madison Vision.


The seeds for A Greater Madison Vision were planted in May of 2015. Robert Grow, CEO of Envision Utah, appeared at two events in the area to discuss his organization’s (and region’s) experience in crafting a regional growth strategy with support from the public and local leaders. With the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC) looking to update the Madison area’s master plan for physical development, the time was right to adopt a more collaborative and broad-based regional planning strategy.

Those conversations led CARPC staff and local leaders to begin assembling a group of people with experience in the public, business, and nonprofit sectors to craft broad strategy and lend their perspectives. These first members of the Greater Madison Vision Steering Committee were asked to commit to three years of quarterly meetings and topic-specific workgroup meetings as needed.

Below, you’ll see a broad project timeline and the primary objectives of each phase.



Phase 1: Where Are We?

Build the capacity for AGMV to succeed
Research best practices
Assess regional trends and current plans
Engage stakeholders and build public support



Phase 2: Where Do We Want to Go?

Engage the public and stakeholders on growth
and development priorities
Translate input into options and choices



Phase 3: How Will We Get There?

Participants evaluate and choose among options
Prepare action plan to implement vision
Build on collaborative relationships and improve
regional and sub-regional cooperation


We began with the ultimate goal of asking the public to weigh in on a set of growth options and priorities in order to establish broad agreement about the best ways to accommodate growth and development.

In order to get there, we needed several elements in place:

  • an understanding of the public’s underlying values and attitudes;
  • reliable data about past trends, current conditions, and projections about the future;
  • robust community engagement on the issues most likely to confront us in the years ahead;
  • scenarios, or so-called “alternative futures,” that present compelling alternatives and address those important issues (coming soon);
  • extensive outreach and marketing to increase general awareness of the initiative and issues (beginning April 2018); and
  • a large-scale, web-based survey that presents growth alternatives and gathers the perspectives of at least 10,000 people (polling begins September 12, 2018!).

Choose from Alternative Futures

What – We are gathering public input for “A Greater Madison Vision,” which will become the plan that guides growth in the region.

You can explore and evaluate choices for future growth and development in our region through an online survey available in September 2018.

How – Go to and take a 10-minute online survey, available September 12.

You will explore four alternative futures considering housing, jobs, transportation, roads, rural preservation, water and the environment, and provide your opinion on how the region should grow.

Encourage Others – We are asking schools, communities, businesses, and organizations to publicize the survey and encourage public participation. Coming soon – nonprofits that provide programming/services for youth will be eligible for our nonprofit incentive program!