Building Municipal Capacity

DVRPC's Building Municipal Capacity program strives to better train municipalities with the tools and knowledge needed to implement DVRPC's Long-Range Plan. 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.

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. Municipalities may lack the capacity and funding to update their comprehensive/master plans, zoning, and subdivision ordinances to advance regional objectives. The Building Municipal Capacity program helps our partners achieve these goals through several avenues:

  • Availability 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 training programs and/or workshops and acting as an AICP CM certified provider for our partners and stakeholders.
  • Presentation and promotion of studies and products to local, regional, and national audiences

Municipal Outreach Survey

To gauge Smart Growth policies and implementation tools available, DVRPC conducts a Municipal Outreach Survey to our 352 municipalities. Originally conducted in 2008, the survey received 41 responses, representing 37 different known municipalities.

Updated in 2013, 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 These maps were further updated in 2020.


Opportunities to Connect

Air Quality Partnership
Annual Report
Connections 2050
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)
Economic Development District