A Vision & Strategic Plan for First Hill
First Hill Improvement Association
BDS Planning & Urban Design facilitated a visioning process for the First Hill Improvement Association (FHIA). FHIA has been serving the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle since 1958 as an advocate, forum for debate, and point of contact for community issues. FHIA was awarded a City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Grant to complete an organizational assessment and develop a vision. With BDS’ leadership, FHIA engaged more than 600 residents, employers, and employees in this process through an online survey and large community meeting. BDS facilitated a FHIA Board retreat to identify action priorities and develop a vision to better serve the neighborhood and strengthen its voice in community affairs.
FHIA was subsequently awarded a City of Seattle Office of Economic Development Only In Seattle Initiative Grant to develop a strategic plan. BDS facilitated a process that involved Board-led working groups on open space, land use and development, healthy neighborhood, transportation, and fundraising. The top community issues were identified for each focus area, along with key programs that could be implemented based on various levels of resources and staffing. BDS facilitated a FHIA board retreat where they synthesized a three-year strategic plan. The resulting strategic action plan positions FHIA to play an ongoing leadership role in shaping First Hill as a dynamic and safe neighborhood for everyone.
The vision and strategic plan have led to meaningful organizational evolution for FHIA—beginning with its incorporation, then subsequently hiring its first employee and growing its membership.