American Planning Association

The American Planning Association is a nonprofit public interest and research organization representing 33,000 practicing planners, officials, and citizens involved with urban and rural planning issues. Sixty-five percent of APA's members work for state and local government agencies. These members are involved, on a day-to-day basis, in formulating planning policies and preparing land-use regulations. APA's objective is to encourage planning that will meet the needs of people and society more effectively.


Michigan Association of Planning

The Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sound community planning that benefits the residents of Michigan.  MAP was established in 1945 to achieve a desired quality of life through comprehensive community planning that includes opportunities for a variety of lifestyles and housing, employment, commercial activities, and cultural and recreational amenities.

National Association of Regional Councils

The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) advocates for regional approaches with federal and state governments; provide training and technical assistance on the latest regional developments; and conduct research on timely regional topics.  For more than three decades, NARC has represented multi-purpose regional councils of government that assist community leaders and citizens in developing common strategies for addressing cross-cutting transportation, economic development, air and water quality, social equity, growth, and other challenges.


United Growth for Kent County

United Growth for Kent County is a project of Michigan State University (MSU), and MSU Extension.  The mission of the United Growth Coalition is to serve as a sustainable, citizen-based organization that unites people and organizations around the promotion of positive land use in Kent County and West Michigan.


Center for Urban Policy Research

For four decades, the Center for Urban Policy Research has served the nation with basic and applied research on a broad spectrum of public policy issues. CUPR, a component of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, is nationally and internationally recognized for its research on affordable housing, land use policy, environmental impact analysis, state planning, public finance, land development practice, historic preservation, infrastructure assessment, development impact analysis, the costs of sprawl, transportation information systems, environmental impacts, and community economic development. As a full-time academic research institution, CUPR has developed a wide array of fiscal, environmental, transportation, and quality of life impact models that have been used in major public policy evaluations throughout the United States.


Planning & Zoning Center

The Planning & Zoning Center is a multi-disciplinary team of professionals devoted to research, education and consultation in appropriate community planning and development control.  Since it was first founded in 1982, the Planning & Zoning Center has published the only state-specific monthly magazine on planning and zoning issues in the entire country, Planning & Zoning News, which has nearly 3,000 subscribers:


PLANetizen is a public-interest information exchange provided by Urban Insight for the urban planning, design and development community. We provide a daily, one-stop source for urban planning news, job opportunities, commentary and events.


Congress for New Urbanism

Non-profit organization that works with architects, developers, and planners, teaching how to implement the principles of new urbanism.


Smart Growth America
Nationwide coalition that keeps housing affordable, preserves scenic/historic resources, and makes communities more livable.

American Farmland Trust

Since its founding in 1980, American Farmland Trust has helped win permanent protection for over a million acres of American farmland.  Their hard work and sound strategies unite farmers, environmentalists and policymakers.   They have three strategies for saving America's farmland:

Protect the best land – through publicly funded agricultural conservation easement programs;
Plan for growth with agriculture in mind – through effective community planning and growth management;
Keep the land healthy – for farmland through encouraging stewardship and conservations practices.


Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations

AMPO is a nonprofit, membership organization established in 1994 to serve the needs and interests of "metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs)" nationwide.  Mission Statement: AMPO is the transportation advocate for metropolitan regions and is committed to enhancing MPOs' abilities to improve metropolitan transportation systems.


International Society of City and Regional Planners

A global association of professional planners, founded in 1965, bringing together recognized and highly qualified planners.

Land Trust Alliance

The Land Trust Alliance promotes voluntary private land conservation to benefit communities and natural systems.  They are the national convener, strategist and representative of more than 1,500 land trusts across America.  Land trusts work with communities to save America's land heritage by helping landowners find ways to protect their land.


The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come.


Citizens Research Council of Michigan
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan is a private, not-for-profit public affairs research organization established in 1916 to provide nonpartisan analysis of state and local government organization and finance in Michigan.


Smart Growth Network

In 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joined with several non-profit and government organizations to form the Smart Growth Network (SGN).  The Network was formed in response to increasing community concerns about the need for new ways to grow that boost the economy, protect the environment, and enhance community vitality. 


Smart Communities Network

This web resource is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and provides information and services to communities to help them to adopt sustainable development as a strategy for well-being.   More and more cities, villages, neighborhoods and regions are using sustainable development as a guiding principle not only for near-term projects, but also for planning their futures. That's because sustainable projects:  Strengthen your local economy; Improve and protect the quality of the environment; and Enhance the quality of life and the well-being of all of the people in your community. 


Planners Web – Planning Commissioners Journal

Now in its 14th year, the Planning Commissioners Journal is the nation's principal publication designed for citizen planners, including (but certainly not limited to) members of local planning commissions and zoning boards.  The PCJ covers a wide range of planning issues, focusing on how citizen planners can work most effectively. You'll find topics such as: how to deal with the media; the basics of putting together a comprehensive plan; conflicts of interest and ex parte communications; running an effective meeting; developing good staff-commissioner relations – and more.


Michigan State University's Community and Economic Development Program

Their mission: "To advance MSU's Research Intensive Land-Grant Mission by creating, disseminating, and applying knowledge to improve the quality of life in distressed urban and regional communities. We implement, evaluate, and disseminate innovative approaches through responsive engagement, strategic partnerships, and collaborative learning."

National Brownfield Association

The National Brownfield Association (NBA), based in Chicago, Illinois, was established in 1999 as a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to stimulating the responsible redevelopment of brownfields. The NBA is the premier association for government, businesses and individuals involved in the redevelopment of brownfields.


Urban Land Institute

ULI – the Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit research and education organization supported by its members.  Founded in 1936, the institute now has more than 25,000 members worldwide representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines, working in private enterprise and public service.


Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a nonprofit and tax-exempt educational institution founded in 1974 to improve the quality of public debate and decisions in the areas of land policy and land-related taxation.  The Institute's goals are to integrate theory and practice to better shape land policy and to provide a nonpartisan forum for discussion of the multidisciplinary forces that influence public policy.


National Community Development Association

NCDA is a national nonprofit organization comprised of more than 550 local governments across the country that administer federally-supported community and economic development, housing and human service programs.  Since 1968, NCDA has been at the forefront in securing effective and responsive housing and community development programs for local governments.  The Association provides timely, direct information and technical support to its members on federal housing and community development programs.  NCDA serves as a national clearinghouse of ideas for local government officials and federal policy-makers on pertinent national issues affecting America's communities.  NCDA provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to become a more effective community development administrator.


Grand Valley Metropolitan Council

GVMC is an alliance of governmental units in the Grand Rapids, Michigan metropolitan area that are appointed to plan for the growth and development, improve the quality of the communities life, and coordinate governmental services. 


Macatawa Area Coordinating Council

The Macatawa Area Coordinating Council is designated and established as an Inter-Municipality Study Committee.  The MACC Mission is “To encourage cooperation among neighboring units of government on area wide issues”.