The Michigan Association of Planning exists so that Michigan will consist of healthy, safe, attractive, and successful communities built first and foremost on quality community planning.


The community planning decision-making process should, first and foremost, be concerned with the long-term sustainability of our communities, environment and economy.

The community planning process should involve a broad-based citizenry, including public and private sector leaders, community interest groups and multi-disciplinary professionals. A positive relationship between development and the making of community should be established through a citizen-based participatory planning and design process.

Public policy and development practices should support development of communities that are:

  • diverse in land use, population and character;
  • designed for pedestrians and non-motorized transit as well as for motorized transit;
  • shaped and physically defined by parks, open space and other natural resource areas;
  • structured by physically defined, accessible public space and community institutions and
  • based on local history, climate, ecology, and building practices.

Physical solutions by themselves will not solve all problems. A coherent and supportive physical framework should be established to provide economic vitality, community stability, and environmental health. Common challenges that should be addressed by community planning are:

  • increasing opportunities for reinvestment in established urban centers;
  • encouraging appropriate intensity and location of new development served by adequate public facilities;
  • minimizing the spread of low density, non-contiguous development;
  • encouraging a wide range of housing opportunities which serve all segments of our diverse population;
  • recognizing the value and encouraging the preservation of agricultural lands and natural resources;
  • encouraging the preservation and/or restoration of our natural and built heritage environments;
  • encouraging development in accordance with the adopted community master plan; and
  • recognizing that land use decisions may have impacts beyond community boundaries.

The quality of life for the citizens of Michigan can be enhanced by developments that:

  • support and restore existing community centers;
  • reconfigure existing low density, centerless communities into communities of diverse neighborhoods and districts;
  • preserve and protect natural environments;
  • maintain and build a positive social and strong economic climate and
  • improve the physical design and condition of our region, cities, villages, townships, neighborhoods, districts, corridors, parks, streets, blocks and homes.