Grand Valley Metropolitan Council (GVMC) is an alliance of governmental units in the Grand Rapids, Michigan metropolitan area that are appointed to plan for growth and development, improve the quality of life within the community, and coordinate governmental services. GVMC acts as the regional planning organization for Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, and Ottawa Counties and its mission statement includes:
- Planning for orderly growth and development
- Minimizing urban sprawl
- Preserving and enhancing the natural, social, and physical environments
- Promoting economic vitality and employment opportunities
- Equitably sharing responsibility for community needs
- Recognizing the strengths and benefits of diversity
- Eliminating unnecessary duplication of services
- Conserving and enhancing healthy neighborhoods, business districts and employment centers
- Promoting a high quality of life now and for future generations
GVMC has engaged in a number of local and regional planning and governmental initiatives, and its work has demonstrated that even in a region where voters tend to be suspect of government intervention and regulation, regional collaboration can come together around ideas and issues that address sprawl. Of note is the GVMC’s community regional planning process, Blueprint, which included a prolonged series of civic engagement processes to develop a regional plan to address sprawl and the means and mechanisms to implement the plan.
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