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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The future through the eyes of our children

Late last fall, COMPASS launched an art contest for elementary aged children. We asked children to draw a picture of what they think their neighborhood or town will look like in 25 years.

This was part of an effort to help get youth – and their teachers and parents – involved in and thinking about Communities in Motion 2040. After all, it is today’s youth who will be the adults when the plan reaches its “horizon year” of 2040.

Thank you to all of the students who entered the contest. All of the participants in the contest clearly put a great deal of thought and care into their artwork.

While I wasn’t one of the contest judges (the COMPASS Public Participation Committee did that), I did get a chance to review the artwork.

As I looked through the entries, I was surprised by how many of them focused on themes that we will be looking at in Communities in Motion 2040 – emerging transportation technologies, changing populations, energy and environmental issues, open space and farmland, and more. I found it quite remarkable that these children, who were only given the very broad theme of “what the future may look like,” focused on many of the same issues we are discussing. These children – some of them quite young – clearly have insight and perception into the world and issues around them.

Take a moment to check out the winning artwork on the COMPASS web site. I think that like me, you will be intrigued and impressed by what you see.

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Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho

COMPASS is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization responsible for transportation planning in Ada and Canyon Counties. The COMPASS Board comprises 39 members representing the cities, counties, highway districts, educational institutions, state agencies, and other entities within the two counties. COMPASS plays an important role in making decisions about future long-range transportation needs in the Treasure Valley, taking into consideration environmental and economic factors that affect the quality of life.