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Case study: City of Alameda Strategic Plan

A unifying vision and concrete plan for the City of Alameda

In partnership with the City of Alameda City Council and the City Manager’s Office, CivicMakers led a collaborative process to develop the City of Alameda’s first citywide Strategic Plan (2023 – 2026). The plan includes a guiding vision, five strategic priorities, and a multitude of ambitious implementation actions that represent community needs, span departments, and connect to existing plans.


As the City’s first citywide strategic plan, we needed to make sure the process would lay the foundation for future discourse and iteration. We needed to be inclusive through this process, create clear feedback loops, and ensure we brought people along throughout.

City Council workshops, community pop-up workshops, an online community survey, and City staff meetings and surveys offered a myriad of ways for community members and staff to weigh in throughout the process. The final plan – including vision, priorities, and projects – was developed through careful deliberation by the City Council in collaboration with City staff and the community.


Initial conversations with City Council and the City’s Executive team surfaced a draft vision statement and five strategic priorities that were then vetted with community members and City staff.

Draft Vision

“Alameda is an inclusive and connected community where everyone is welcome and supported with robust and sustainable city services. Residents and visitors enjoy access to safe, architecturally varied neighborhoods, vibrant commercial centers, and beautiful outdoor spaces. We prioritize housing options for all, and ensure residents’ access to safe, climate-friendly, transportation options. The City is resilient to climate change and is prepared for natural disasters. Alameda government is fiscally responsible, invested in staff, transparent in decision-making, and committed to equity.”

Further community and staff engagement via an online survey and pop-up workshops validated several of these priorities, while adding nuance to inform difficult tradeoffs. 

The data revealed that the community’s greatest concerns were housing and safety followed by transportation and traffic. City Staff and community members indicated support for the creation of affordable housing and at the same time cautioned that development be done strategically so as not to overcrowd the island.  In addition, both City staff and community expressed general concerns for residents’ ability to feel safe while walking through the streets of Alameda, and were in support of expanding police presence with the goal of reducing accidents and thefts. We also learned that community members want the City to invest in infrastructure that supports car usage, while continuing to explore and expand transit options. City Staff emphasized the importance of investing in public transportation to reduce traffic congestion that could be caused by a growing population.


The 8-month process resulted in a robust, actionable, and digestible Strategic Plan that spans departments, connects to existing planning documents, and reflects the needs and priorities of the community. The Plan includes a guiding vision, five strategic priorities, and a multitude of discrete implementation actions that set the City on a focused trajectory toward achieving their long-term vision and near-term priorities.