Mission & History

Mission

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission is the legally designated regional planning agency for the Pioneer Valley region in Western Massachusetts. PVPC was organized in 1962 under Massachusetts enabling legislation to serve a planning district comprising 43 member cities and towns and more than 625,000 residents.

Our mission is to preserve and enhance the quality of life for its individual member communities and for the region as a whole by:

  • Working to develop policies, programs, and projects that support public and private efforts throughout the region to resolve issues, solve problems, meet needs, and exploit opportunities whenever and wherever such efforts can benefit from sound regional planning.
  • Serving as an advocate for the regional community as needs and circumstances dictate.
  • Engaging an open and broadly participatory planning process solidly grounded in ethical principles and a commitment to dedicated, high-quality public service. 

In support of this mission, PVPC's principal responsibilities include: 

  • Bringing a regional and inter-regional perspective to the region’s transportation, housing, economic development, historic preservation, pollution control, and resource management and protection planning.
  • Promoting the region’s interests at the state and federal levels.
  • Assisting municipalities with technical aid, grant writing assistance, and grant administration.
  • Fostering cooperative efforts among municipalities to achieve better land development, public service, and financial efficiency.
  • Enhancing collaboration between the public and private sectors in the Pioneer Valley region.
  • Gathering, maintaining, and making available planning-related data.

History - A PVPC Time Capsule: 50 Years and Counting

 

The year is 1962. Soviet missile bases are detected in Cuba. John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth. Elvis Presley is all the rage, and Wilt Chamberlain scores one hundred points in one game.

In that same year, in a small office on Chestnut Street in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Lower Pioneer Valley Regional Planning Commission opened its doors. Serving as a “general store” for the region, this new planning agency addressed a wide range of concerns for member communities, federal and state agencies, and civic groups throughout the Pioneer Valley. Its goal was to improve the quality of life for all residents by promoting regional collaboration among communities—bringing them together to solve problems, and to pursue opportunities that went beyond municipal boundaries. The district was launched by six communities at its organizational meeting: Springfield, West Springfield, Westfield, Agawam, Southwick, and Middlefield. Edward C. Peck, a lawyer serving on the West Springfield planning board, was voted chairman.

Fast-forward to the present: the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s original planning district has expanded to include 43 communities—a space roughly equivalent in size to Rhode Island, and home to more than half-a-million residents. Its agenda has never been broader. Its network of regional partners has never been wider. But one thing has not changed. Over decades of challenges, opportunities, and successes, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission remains committed to improving the quality of life for all people in the Pioneer Valley…and its outlook for the region’s future has never been brighter.

Request For Proposal

Geographic Information System - A system for capturing, storing, analyzing and managing data and associated attributes which are spatially referenced to the earth.

Federal Highway Administration - An agency of the United States Department of Transportation that provides financial and technical support to each state for constructing, improving, and preserving America’s highway system.

Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation

Regional Transportation Plan

Metropolitan Planning Organization

Average Annual Daily Traffic

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)

Average Daily Traffic

American Farmland Trust

Alternative Fuel Vehicles

American Heritage Rivers Initiative

American International College

Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations

Approval Not Required

American Planning Association

Aquifer Protection District

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (of 2009)

Automatic Traffic Recorder

Air Quality Index

Average Vehicle Ridership

Barnes Aquifer Protection Advisory Committee

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Business Improvement District

Bicycle Level of Service

Best Management Practice

Bridge Management System

Board of Appeals (or Adjustment)

Board of Health

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990

Commercial Area Revitalization District

Community Action Statement

Central Business District

Cape Cod Commission

Continuing, Comprehensive, and Cooperative Planning Process

Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield

Community Development

Community Development Action Grant

Community Development Block Grant

Centers for Disease Control

Community Development Corporation

Community Development Fund

Community Development Plan

Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

Community Enterprise Economic Development

Citizen Housing and Planning Association

Community Housing Development Organizations

Capital Improvement Inventory System

Capital Improvements Plan (or Program)

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program

Congestion Management Process

Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission

Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area

Compressed Natural Gas

Carbon Monoxide

Council of Governments

Commonwealth Procurement Access and Solicitation System

Community Preservation Act

Citizen Planner Training Collaborative

Capitol Region Council of Governments

Community Service Block Grant

Combined Sewer Overflow

Department of Conservation and Recreation

Department of Environmental Protection

Division of Employment and Training

Department of Housing and Community Development

Direct Local Technical Assistance

Department of Energy Resources

Department of Revenue

Department of Transportation

Department of Public Works

Developments of Regional Impact

Economic Assistance Coordinating Council

Economic Development Administration

Economic Development Council

Economic Development District

Economic Development and Industrial Corporation

Economic Development Data and Information System

Environmental Impact Report

Environmental Impact Statement

Environmental Justice

Environmental Notification Form

Executive Order

Economic Opportunity Area

Executive Office of Administration and Finance

Executive Office of Economic Affairs

Executive Office of Elder Affairs

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental Site Assessment

Economic Target Area

Federal Aid

Functional Classification (of roadways)

Federal Housing Administration

Federal Highway Administration

Franklin Regional Council of Governments

Federal Transit Administration

Greenhouse Gas

Geographic Information System

Global Positioning System

Housing Appeal Committee

HAPHousing

Holyoke Community College

Housing Development Support Program

Housing Innovation Fund

Home Modification for Individuals with Disabilities Loan

Highway Overlay District

Historic Overlay District

Homeownership Opportunities Program

High Occupancy Vehicle

Housing Preservation Grant

Housing Production Plan

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Invitation for Bid

Intelligent Transportation Systems

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

Job Access and Reverse Commute

Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Jacob's Ladder Trail

Joint Transportation Committee

Limited English Proficiency

Local Housing Authority

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Local Board(s) of Health

Level of Service

Local Option Transportation Tax

Local Pavement Management System

Light Rail Vehicle

Local Technical Assistance

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Massachusetts Geographic Information System

Minority Business Enterprises

Massachusetts Development Finance Agency 

Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act

Massachusetts Geographic Information Council

Massachusetts General Laws

Massachusetts Historical Commission 

Massachusetts Housing Partnership

Massachusetts Industrial Finance Agency

Municipal Incentive Grant

Massachusetts Municipal Association

Memorandum of Agreement

Massachusetts Office of Business Development

Massachusetts Office on Disability

Memorandum of Understanding

Metropolitan Planning Organization

Montachusett Regional Planning Commission

Metropolitan Statistical Area

Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices

Martha's Vineyard Commission

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

National Association of Regional Councils

New England Association of Regional Councils

Non-Federal Aid

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended)

National Highway System

Neighborhood Housing Services program

Air Quality Index

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Northern Middlesex Council of Governments

Nitrogen Oxide

Nantucket Planning and Economic Development Commission

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Transportation Safety Board

Overall Condition Index (Pavement)

Old Colony Planning Council

Open Space and Recreation Plan

Pavement Condition Index

Priority Development Fund

Purchase of Development Rights

Peak Hour Traffic (or Trips)

Payment in Lieu of Taxes

[Metropolitan] Planning Funds

Pavement Management System 

Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area

Pavement Management Users Group

Planner on a Disc

Public Participation Process

Planned Unit Residential Development

Pioneer Valley Regional Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority

Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp.

Rental Development Action Loan

Regional Employment Board

Regional Education and Business Alliance

Regional Economic Models, Inc.

Request for Qualifications

Request for Response

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Roadway Inventory Files

Revolving Loan Fund

Regional Planning Agency

Regional Pavement Management System

Regional Transit Authority

Regional Technology Corporation

Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users

Small Business Administration

Supplier Diversity Office 

State Implementation Plan (for air quality)

Single Occupancy Vehicle

Special Permit

Special Permit Planning

Site Plan Review

Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District

Statewide Planning and Research Funds

Single Room Occupancy

Springfield Technical Community College

Statewide Transportation Improvement Program

Surface Transportation Program

Targeted Brownfields Assessment

Transportation and Community System Preservation [Pilot Program]

Transportation Demand Management

Transfer of Development Rights

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century

Tax Increment Financing

Transportation Improvement Program

The Literacy Project

Turning Movement Count

Traditional Neighborhood District

Transit Oriented Design (or Development)

Trip Reduction Ordinance

Transportation Research Board

Transportation Systems Management

Urban Growth Boundary

Urban Land Institute

University of Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute

Unified Planning Work Program

Urban Revitalization Development Grant

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Geological Survey

U.S. Public Land Survey

Underground Storage Tanks

Vehicle Miles Traveled

Volatile Organic Compound

Vehicle Occupancy Rate

Ware Adult Learning Center

Weatherization Assistance Program

Women-owned Business Enterprises

Wellhead Protection Area

Western New England University

Water Quality Management Plan

Westfield River Watershed Association

Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory Committee

Westfield State University

Water Supply Protection [District]

Zoning Board of Adjustment (or Appeals)

Production of affordable housing across a broad range of incomes 

Hazardous waste cleanup regulations

Uniform procurement law for local governments

Zoning

Planning/comprehensive permits

Smart growth zoning and housing production

Smart growth school cost reimbursement

Subdivision control

Expedited permitting

Sustainable Knowledge Corridor

Documents: 

Anniversary Date Map FH10.pdf

Map: PVPC Community Membership Anniversary Dates
Map of When Member Communities Joined PVPC
Anniversary Date Map FH10.pdf