Vision Statement

Arcata today: with its natural beauty, resourceful citizens, and exemplary quality of life, Arcata is more than just a great place to live. Arcata is home; a sanctuary and a work in progress.

Picture Arcata in the year 2020: growing more in stature than size, extending in opportunities, advancing thoughtfully. A safe and inspiring environment for people of all ages and stages. A city that works -- and a community that works even harder. Not an island separate from the world, but an oasis, offering a world of difference. Our choices make Arcata what it is and what it will be. Our decisions reach far beyond our own times, guiding Arcata towards a promising future.

We'll grow, but on our own terms.  A modest growth rate, up to a population of around 20,000, will support and encourage economic viability, while maintaining our primary focus on community and manageability.

We build carefully.  Arcata's environmentally conscious development guidelines, and surrounding permanent greenbelt, promote compact growth and resist the pressures for unplanned sprawl.

We live as neighbors.  Safe, quiet, affordable housing is available for seniors and students, families and singles, people from every economic strata. All share a sense of community in distinctive, interconnected neighborhoods.

Our priorities are natural.  From our agricultural lands to the community parks and city forests, from our exemplary marsh system and wildlife sanctuary to protected creek and river corridors, wetlands and tidelands, we pride ourselves on our continuing efforts to preserve the unique, natural beauty within and around the City.

We live resourcefully.  Sustainability is a way of life. We reduce, reuse, and recycle, continually relearning and redefining as we better understand our local resource base. We are committed to living well, and within Arcata's resource base. Our water, wastewater, energy, and land use needs are monitored and adjusted, as we find new ways to minimize consumption. We conserve these resources so they may be enjoyed by the seventh generation.

We move forward.  In Arcata, public and private transportation come in a variety of forms, and we seek out and use the least polluting, most efficient methods. People come first; bicycles, cars, trucks and transit vehicles share the road with us. Bikeways and pedestrian paths connect all parts of the City.

Our town is architecturally diverse.  Arcata's urban and neighborhood character is enhanced by a diverse, architectural heritage. Our historic homes, classic commercial structures, craftsman cottages and contemporary buildings create a distinctive yet diverse character. New development complements the character of the neighborhood in which it is located.

We're drawn to the plaza.  Our historic and distinctive downtown square remains the heart of Arcata. It is our common ground for community events, daily commerce, retail, restaurants and entertainment.

Our future is secure.  Arcata's economy reflects the efforts of our many entrepreneurs, artisans and small businesses; the support of citizens who value local investment; and those who offer value-added products from locally available resources.

We share the benefits of Humboldt State University.  The University, which offers continuing educational opportunities, cultural events and social activities for the entire region, is a stimulating presence and one of our community's most important assets.

We keep it healthful.  Pollution prevention is ingrained in all City functions. Controls are well in place, along with continuing education and advancement regarding all aspects of public health, from clean air, water and soil, to seismic safety and quiet neighborhoods.

We are a community.  Arcatans actively participate, and involve themselves in community events. Civic and government activities, neighborhood and interest groups, all are open to, and perpetuated by, citizens who care enough to take responsibility and work together.