Postscript: FOCUS on the Future

The Cape Fear Economic Development Council (CFEDC) presented a community conversation on “FOCUS: Framework for Our Future,”  April 28, at WHQR Gallery, 254 N. Front St., Suite 300, Wilmington, N.C. During a presentation of the draft plan, attendees had the opportunity to provide input on the plan and learned how to become part of the effort.

Under a federal grant, the FOCUS consortium formed in 2012 to support local government­ efforts to coordinate planning and create a regional plan for sustainable development in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties. For ideas, FOCUS engaged public and elected officials, held more than 40 meetings and received more than 4,000 public comments.

They have developed 10 strategies for moving the region forward, a blueprint for:

  • Leverage regional resources to respond to key challenges
  • Improve opportunities for moving up the economic ladder & closing wage gaps.
  • Address public health issues by providing better access to healthcare, active living environments and healthy food outlets.
  • Connect destinations, workforce and jobs more effectively.
  • Strengthen regional workforce through improved education and training
  • Create  a place-based regional economic development strategy.
  • Create more housing choice and opportunities for everyone.
  • Preserve contiguous areas of open space & protect critical  environmental habitats.
  • Implement a multimodal transportation system and local land use policies while reducing or holding steady vehicle miles of travel (VMT) per capita.
  • Update land development, transportation & infrastructure policies that support complete communities.

Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation from the event.

Want to Get Involved?

There’s three ways to become a part of FOCUS;

  • Supporters: Individual residents of the community who support the Regional Framework for Our Future and is interested in its implementation
  • Partners: Private or non-profit organizations working with the FOCUS Consortium to help implement specific projects, foster communications, and support other activities
  • FOCUS Consortium: An alliance of local governments and other community organizations that is the driving force of regional collaboration and implementation of the Regional Framework for Our Future

To participate, email

About the Data

FOCUS has made all of their data available to community organizations to use in grant applications for funding public/private projects that move the 10 strategies forward. To learn more about the organization and to access their data, go to their Web site.

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