Mountain View’s residential population could grow more than 40% by 2030. With this as a backdrop, the Environmental Sustainability Task Force 2 (ESTF-2) hosted a “Public Input Forum” on January 31, 2018 for community members to share their ideas for a sustainable Mountain View. Participants brainstormed and shared their vision for what they want the future of the City to look like, and ideas for how to get there.
There were 86 participants ranging in age from nine to more than 70 years old, with about half having lived in Mountain View for more than ten years and quite a number for more than 40 years. From newcomers to those who have been here decades, a common feeling shared was that Mountain View is unique, beloved, and a place people want to stay, so creating a sustainable future mattered greatly to everyone. The participants were a passionate, engaged group, with overwhelmingly positive ideas and attitudes for how they envision the City.
After welcoming and providing background information to the participants, ESTF-2 facilitators then guided the audience through an exercise to envision what they want Mountain View to look like in 2030. A series of breakouts followed: ten groups, each with 6-10 participants, organized by topic. Each group brainstormed ideas around their topic, facilitated by a member of ESTF-2, and wrote their best ideas on a flip chart. Participants then walked around to each group’s chart and put dots next to ideas they liked the best.
The three ideas that received the most dots were “walkable, connected, green spaces,” “public transportation improvements,” and “zero waste.” Other popular ideas centered on housing (dense, affordable, zero carbon), land use (mixed-use developments, more trails), sustainable living (local food production, sharing resources), and transportation (more electric vehicles, better bike lanes). Similar themes appeared across groups, proving that residents are keenly aware of the interconnected nature of environmental and overall community sustainability.
With the community eager for ways to stay involved, the ESTF-2 is already planning another community event in April tied to Earth Day.
A separate topic came up informally: many people are unsure what programs the city offers, and it is clear that education and outreach are needed and desired.