We hope vision sessions lead to real change

Published 9:23 pm Thursday, January 17, 2013

On Wednesday, Selma’s Office of Planning and Development hosted a Vision To Action To Achieve Sustainable Communities session, conducted by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and had everyone in attendance draw their vision for specific areas of the city.

Larry Norris, the chief redeveloper for ADEM said that they will be providing Selma with a product based on one of the drawings done by a Selma resident. After residents draw their vision for a revitalized Selma, a professional artist will draw the visions for actual projects, Norris explained.

Six to eight of the visions will be chosen from the marker drawings this week. Norris said ADEM would actually make one of these visions a reality. The revitalization would focus on taking brownfield sites, sites that are abandoned or underused, and make them into something visually appealing as well as something functional for the city.

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We could not be more excited for this project and this process. We can all see that Selma needs some revitalization and by putting these ideas down on paper and into the appropriate hands, we could be on track to see some of these changes come to fruition.

We do however hope it’s not like other governments programs that are full of promises but ultimately show no real results, but rather a legitimate and useful tool for our city. By putting some of our “visions” for Selma into action, we could in affect, change our city.

Some of Selma’s resident’s at Wednesday’s vision session drew boardwalks along the Alabama River where people could fish, drew cable cars through Old Town and community gardens in places where there were blank lots.

Mayor George Evans said the city of Selma can get money for these projects, but it is sometimes difficult to come by the funds when competing with bigger cities for the state monies. This means our vision will have to be both useful and practical.

“Montgomery and Birmingham just because of their size, its easier for them to come by that grant money,” Evans said. “[But] the number of people who want to see Selma progress is far bigger than the number of people who do not.”

So we ask you, our readers, if you could envision something, anything for Selma, what would it be? What would you change, improve or add to make our city better?

We love seeing residents have the opportunity to voice their opinions in a way that could cause real change, and we hope this process is one that benefits Selma in a real way. We hope that those marker drawings will be able to turn into tangible realities. And we hope that the visions of Selma residents continue to inspire change.