Values

Through the public meeting process, community members identified key values they want Newton to maintain as it grows over the next 20 years. This section summarizes these major values — and clarifies how they guided the steering committee in drafting the vision statement.

Each of these values works together with the vision statement to define, maintain, and enhance the community.

Planning for the education of Newton’s children and workforce doesn’t quite fall under the City government’s jurisdiction. Still, participants in The ReNewton Project wanted to ensure the city will remain supportive of efforts to educate all Newtonians — from preschool through adult.

On the surface, Newton might appear to be a typical Midwestern town. But below the surface, there is a great deal to be excited about.

Revitalizing downtown is key to the city achieving the project’s vision. A revitalized downtown will increase the local tax base, enhance and expand a vital community amenity, and preserve the community’s historic heritage, character, and way of life.

The ReNewton Plan includes many recommendations for creating a community that people of all ages will want to call home. It focuses on several projects to improve overall quality of life for current residents, and make the city more attractive for college students, young professionals, young families, higher-income households, and retirees.

Participants in The ReNewton Project retreats made it clear they want the City to play a role in promoting individual health and wellness.

Because of its prime location at the juncture of highways and railroads, transportation has always played a large role in Newton’s history. It seems that transportation will continue to be an important part of the city’s future as well, playing a key function in economic development efforts, and healthy lifestyle and sustainability initiatives.

Through the public forums, citizens repeatedly stressed that as the city grows, they don’t want Newton to lose its community character, sense of place, and emphasis on friendliness. Instead, people want to capitalize on Newton’s character in marketing the community.

Having adequate housing at all income levels is a significant concern of those who participated in The ReNewton Project. Nearly 87 percent of respondents to a 2010 City survey report that the City needs to address housing issues.

As we plan for the Newton of 2030, The ReNewton Project participants encouraged the City to be ahead of the curve, and adopt green practices sooner rather than later.

Newton is a community of many cultures, and has great respect for cultural diversity and social cohesion. Still, factions exist, said participants in The ReNewton Project forums, and a lack of communication between groups is holding back true cohesion in the community.

In order to achieve many of its goals, The ReNewton Plan calls for a multiyear strategic marketing effort through the City, the Chamber of Commerce, and other local businesses and organizations.

In order to bring the vision of the project to life, the community must continue to recruit leaders who can move the community forward.