Municipal Outreach Program

The goal of DVRPC's Municipal Outreach program is to better equip municipalities to implement DVRPC's Long-Range Plan for a sustainable future, through Smart Growth plans and policies. In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, planning and zoning authority is delegated exclusively to local governments; the region's county governments (with the exception of Philadelphia, which is both a city and a county) have no land use power, which makes implementation of regional goals challenging.

In 2013, DVRPC conducted an update of its Municipal Outreach Survey, which was previously done in 2008, to gather information on implementation of various Smart Growth tools and policies at the municipal level. The survey received 62 responses, representing 55 unique municipalities out of the region's 352 municipalities. Questions dealt with planning staff and capacity, smart growth challenges, progress on specific tools and ordinances, sharing municipal services, and use of DVRPC resources. The results of the survey [1.4 MB pdf] were combined with information from the County Planning Commissions/Departments, and adoption of various smart growth tools were mapped at www.dvrpc.org/SmartGrowth/Maps.

Meeting the goals and objectives of the Long-Range Plan requires commitment and creativity at the local level, especially at a time when economic and fiscal conditions have constrained the abilities of local governments to engage in innovative projects. Local municipalities often lack the capacity and funding to update their comprehensive/master plans, zoning, and subdivision ordinances to advance regional objectives. To help with these challenges, DVRPC's Municipal Outreach program aims to offer local governments Tools, Technical Assistance, and Opportunities to Connect.

The Municipal Outreach Program achieves these goals in several ways, such as:

  • Preparation of an interactive, online Toolbox, as well as more detailed brochures on various planning and smart growth topics, aimed at advancing the goals of the Long-Range Plan.
  • Sponsorship of municipal training programs or workshops.
  • Presentation and promotion of Smart Growth studies and products to local, regional, and national audiences through workshops, seminars, conferences, etc.

We invite you to explore our offerings through the links below.