A next gen vision for Maine region

Continuing our look at yesterday’s entry on Maine’s Midcoast Magnet group of proactive creatives and entrepreneurs, here’s a look at where they perceive things are, where they’d like it to be, and how they plan to get there.

First, 400 of them were surveyed, and below are percentages of how many of them felt the particular asset was important to whether they stayed or left, followed by what’s actually there. You can see why people flee.

Cost of living: 90%
– Perceived as above average: 35%
Higher Education opportunities: 77%
– Perceived as above average: 8%
Job opportunities: 78%
– Perceived as above average: 7%
Places to socialize: 70%
– Perceived as above average: 8%
Diverse population: 66%
– Perceived as above average: 8%

So, what’s the plan? 300 of Maine’s creatives collaborated over three forums in 2005 to come up with a vision, a pre-cursor to the beta community if you will.

1. Market the Midcoast: Establish a creative class jobs portal and a visionary “hot list” of real estate development opportunities (very beta community)
2. Create cool events: Cult movie night, dinner theater, open mic, outdoor game rooms, progressive book clubs, under-$100 art night…
3. Promote cool creative goings-on: Portal for all arts and entertainment events (kinda like this?)
4. Support more third places: Encourage the development of and patronize third places
5. Build better higher education in the Midcoast: Advocate, advocate, advocate.
6. Develop more accessible housing: Support multi-family housing developments
7. Encourage entrepreneurs: Improve air service, cell phone and wi-fi coverage, and entrepreneurial workplaces.

Any similarities in your community? What would you add to the plan? Do you think they’ll achieve their goals? Why or why not?