Metropolitan Development Blueprint Report

Strategies to Achieve the Vision

The release of the Metropolitan Development Blueprint (MDB) report to the Grand Valley Metro Council on April 7, 1994 marked the beginning of a new future for West Michigan. It is the culmination of 18 months of work by citizens, planners and consultants. The broad concepts outlined in the report reflect the desire to develop a community-wide consensus for managing future economic growth, while preserving and enhancing the social, physical and natural environment we all value. The plan is ambitious. However, efforts made toward accomplishment of even some of the strategies will safeguard the future. 

What is the Metropolitan Development Blueprint?

The MDB is a bottom-up approach to plan for the future of West Michigan. It is meant to provoke both thought and action from community leaders. The many participants concluded that we can improve the quality of life and the well-being of the residents of our region if we agree on some thoughtful strategies to guide the development of the region during the next twenty years.

Continuing a "business as usual" approach to growth will lead to the plight that many other communities throughout the country face -urban sprawl. Sprawling development reduces opportunities for enjoyment of natural resources and stretches the demand for additional public services. Redirecting growth and development in compact centers of economic activity and livable communities framed by a network of greenways and open lands is the preferred future that is outlined in the MDB report.

The MDB concludes that, with careful planning, we will be able to take the necessary steps today to expand our local economy so that it can retain and develop jobs into the next century. And we can do this without harming our quality of life.

We have provided a MDB summary that captures some of the ideas of the report.