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A Public Listening Campaign

The City of Madison today announced Imagine Madison, a public-listening campaign designed to elicit the opinions of Madison residents regarding impactful community issues. A primary goal of Imagine Madison is to reach, listen to, and record the ideas of a broad and diverse cross section of the public, on topics including housing, transportation, racial equity, sustainability and others. The opinions collected by the City of Madison’s Planning Division as part of the months-long effort will be used to update Madison’s Comprehensive Plan.

“The City of Madison truly wants to hear from each and every resident, because everyone has a unique perspective about issues that affect us all,” says Heather Stouder, the Planning Division’s Director. “With that goal in mind, Imagine Madison was designed to provide new ways to provide input in an effort to improve communication between the City and all Madison residents.”

Imagine Madison coincides with an update of the City’s Comprehensive Plan—a strategy document that lays out the vision for the community for decades to come. Significantly, the Comprehensive Plan is updated only once every decade.

Imagine Madison was developed in coordination with the community, and includes several initiatives for driving awareness and facilitating feedback:

  • Community Meetings: Public forums will be held on Monday, December 5th at the Central Library (3rd Floor) and Wednesday, December 7th at Village on Park in the Atrium Community Room. The events will start with an open house from 5:30 to 6:15. An interactive presentation from 6:15-7:15 will include a brief overview of the Comprehensive Plan, the Imagine Madison campaign and background data and trends. The objective is to listen to community members and gather input on a draft set of high-level goals. The forums will culminate with an opportunity for residents to speak directly with City staff members.
  • Interactive Website, Online Surveys, and Social Media Discussion: The public is invited to take an online survey on the Imagine Madison website Throughout the process, the website will include additional opportunities for interactive education and feedback. Residents will be encouraged to share their opinions by posting on social media using the Imagine Madison Facebook ( and Twitter channels (@ImagineMsnWI #ImagineMadison). All surveys and posted comments will be tabulated and reported on throughout the campaign by the City.
  • Resident Panels: The City will establish partnerships with community groups with strong connections to historically underrepresented populations (i.e. African-Americans, Latinos, Hmong, lower income residents, older adults) to form Resident Panels that will meet three or four times during 2017 to add their voices to the community conversation. Local groups interested in this unique opportunity can simply fill out a short Letter of Interest by November 23 available at


  • Community Outreach Roundtable Discussion: A roundtable discussion will be held from 9-11am on November 17th, at the Central Library to expand the reach of the Imagine Madison campaign. Participants include a diverse mix of community outreach leaders with expertise on Madison’s most relevant issues. The Moderator will be City Planning Division Director Heather Stouder. 
  • Speaker Series: City staff will be available to make short presentations about Imagine Madison to interested organizations to provide information and receive additional feedback.


  • For more information, contact Kirstie Laatsch at (608)243-0470, Colin Punt at (608)243-0455, or Brian Grady at (608)261-9980 at the City of Madison Planning Division or
  • Visit to find more information about how to participate, as well as background data and trends about how Madison is changing.

The City of Madison Planning Division is responsible for the City’s long range comprehensive planning, neighborhood planning, development review process, preservation planning, urban design and CitiArts program and collaborates with other City agencies on transportation planning.