Regional cooperation and
community are more important today than ever before. Cities
and towns across the Commonwealth are facing serious strategic
issues in the arenas of economic development, infrastructure,
environmental protection, and social equity. Simultaneously,
there is growing recognition of the need for municipal cooperation
and regional governance in achieving workable solutions
to these complex challenges.
Area Planning Council (MAPC) is a regional planning agency
representing 101 cities and
towns in the metropolitan Boston area. Created by an act of the Legislature in 1963, it serves as an independent public body of the Commonwealth within which state and local officials can address issues of regional importance. As one of 14 members of the Metropolitan
Planning Organization (MPO), MAPC has oversight responsibility
for the region's federally funded transportation program.
The Council enhances the quality of life and competitive advantage of the Boston metropolitan region in the global economy by providing a focus for action and developing sound responses to issues of regional significance. Council
membership consists of community representatives, gubernatorial
appointees and city and state agencies who collaborate in
the development of comprehensive plans and recommendations
in areas of population and employment,
regional growth and
The Council also provides technical assistance and advocacy
to its member communities.
with its 101 cities and towns through eight
subregional organizations. Each subregion has members
appointed by chief elected officials and planning boards.
The Council supports the subregions by providing planning
information, organizational experience and technical expertise
to foster project development. The subregions develop an
annual work plan with the assistance of an MAPC staff person
who serves as subregional coordinator.
for Council activities is derived from municipal, state,
federal and private grants and contracts and a per-capita
assessment on member communities approved annually by municipal
MAPC region consists of 22 cities and 79 towns in the greater
Boston area. The population of the region is 3,066,394
(based on the 2000 census). The total land area of the region
is 1,422 square miles stretching west from Boston to include
most of the towns inside the I-495 boundary. The MAPC district
is divided into eight subregions and encompasses
coastal communities, older industrial centers, rural towns,
and modern cities.