Helping Shape a Unified Vision for JAX
What We Want To Be. How We Want The World To See Us.
truJax is a collective, community process inspired by the comprehensive JAX2025 report, working to define our authentic DNA and create a Vision for living into it, ultimately resulting in a clearer understanding of Jacksonville.
It’s Not Best to Be A Best Kept Secret
People who live in Jacksonville realize and appreciate the many attributes of the city and love it here, but most people around the country do not understand Jacksonville – we have a neutral, vague identity.
A Weak Identity Limits Us
Dozens of taglines have been created over the years to help promote our city but the world still has a vague sense of us. This limits our ability to attract employers, visitors, workers and investment, meaning we are missing out on making our economy the best it can be for a strong quality of life. This effort goes deeper than a tagline.
What is Jacksonville’s Story?
What if we could have a unified sense of what our community is about? Nashville can tell its story of music, Charleston can tell its story of historic southern charm and New Orleans is all about fun. We need to be able to tell our story. A story that is both authentic and aspirational.
Some cities build central parks.
Our central park built us.
There must be unity in our presentation of Jacksonville to the world.
Not Another Tagline: Creating A Global Reputation
The truJAX process is not a branding exercise, but instead is a deeper approach to solving a larger problem than what a slogan can achieve. This process is about "soul-searching" – figuring out what Jacksonville really stands for and how a global reputation can be built for our city. A weak identity limits us.
truJAX Visioning Process
The truJAX process is about determining our community DNA – Jacksonville’s inner make-up and driving force. Then, defining where this DNA can take Jacksonville. The goal is to create a bold vision for our community, rooted in our DNA, that will help us build a national and international identity.
Broad Community & Expert Involvement
A diverse and broad group of community leaders worked on the truJax process for over a year and a nationally known firm that specializes in helping communities define themselves was engaged. Research was conducted, both in Jacksonville and outside of the city, to gauge the city's strengths and the perceptions of others.
Unstoppable. It just comes naturally to us.
The DNA & Vision
Inspired by our waterways.
Our DNA statement reminds us of our connection to the river, ocean, Intracoastal and preserves that surround us. Not only do they inspire and nourish us personally, they literally inspire and guide strategic decisions the community will make.
Based on this DNA, every decision we make as a community must answer the question, "How does this positively serve, accentuate or involve our primary community asset, the waterscape?" The answer will inform better long-term decision making and shaping of our global identity.
Jacksonville is the water life center of America.
Our vision statement sets an aspiration for the community experience we want to achieve for our citizens and the promise we want to offer to prospective employers, workers and visitors - that this is the home of water-inspired vitality.
A truly water-driven community must create access, assets, elements of place, branding and marketing programs, policies and mindsets comprehensively.
Our action plan is built on 9 Strategic Pillars:
- Improving the Water Experience for Citizens
- Building & Expanding Connections to Health, Wellness & Adventure
- Strengthening Sense of Place Through Water-Focused Design, Policy & Guidelines
- Driving Investment, Industry & Jobs
- Attracting Visitors & Conventions
- Increasing Thought Leadership & Hub Status
- Advancing & Protecting Our Water-Based Ecosystems, Developing a Water Ethic
- Building Signature Recreational & Sporting Events and/or Festivals
- Creating Regional Linkages That Broaden Our Water-Based Identity and Expand our Experiences.