Our Next Future

“Our Next Future” was created to chart a course for a more vibrant, competitive, sustainable and equitable region. This is a regional plan, designed to achieve success through promoting collaboration of communities on a regional basis. With this plan, we are seeking to build a sustainable prosperity in the Pioneer Valley. This involves creating more livable communities, with opportunities for rewarding work and business growth, affordable and available housing, a clean environment, safe and walkable neighborhoods, options for healthy exercise and play, and viable transportation alternatives.  The plan contains place-based strategies to enhance and support our region’s vibrant sense of place. This plan also seeks to promote sustainability of the world at large, through reducing our reliance on foreign oil, increasing our energy efficiency, cutting our greenhouse gas emissions and preventing water and air pollution.

“Our Next Future” is designed to meet the many challenges in the region’s growth, development and economic prosperity. The plan is organized around the following issues and goals:

  • Climate Action and Clean Energy Plan: Moving toward a carbon neutral future. Adapting to create resilient communities.
  • Food Security Plan: No one goes hungry. We grow our own food.
  • Housing Plan: Expanding housing choice. Creating communities of opportunity.
  • Environment Plan: Protecting greenways and blueways. Growing vibrant communities in our watershed.
  • Green Infrastructure Plan: Promoting clean water. Greening our streets and neighborhoods.
  • Sustainable Transportation Plan: Improving Mobility. Promoting alternative modes of transportation.
  • Regional Brownfields Plan: Cleaning up our industrial legacy. Building stronger neighborhoods and communities.
  • Valley Vision 4 , The Pioneer Valley Land Use Plan: Growing smarter to reduce sprawl. Revitalizing our community centers.

The 43 cities and towns of the Pioneer Valley are part of the Sustainable Knowledge Corridor, which links the Springfield and Hartford metropolitan regions. The Knowledge Corridor is stitched together by several large regional systems such as the Connecticut River, the Interstate 91 corridor and the Northeast Rail Corridor. Together, the region has over 80 communities and 1.6 million residents. The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and the Capitol Region Council of Governments, acknowledging the links that tie their regions together, applied jointly for a Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Continuing, Comprehensive, and Cooperative Planning Process

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

Air Quality Index

Air Quality Index

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (of 2009)

Automatic Traffic Recorder

Average Vehicle Ridership

Barnes Aquifer Protection Advisory Committee

Business Improvement District

Bicycle Level of Service

Best Management Practice

Bridge Management System

Board of Appeals (or Adjustment)

Board of Health

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990

Commercial Area Revitalization District

Community Action Statement

Central Business District

Cape Cod Commission

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

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

Executive Order

Production of affordable housing across a broad range of incomes 

Economic Assistance Coordinating Council

Economic Development Administration

Economic Development Council

Economic Development District

Economic Development Data and Information System

Economic Development and Industrial Corporation

Environmental Impact Report

Environmental Impact Statement

Environmental Justice

Environmental Notification Form

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 - 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.

Federal Highway Administration

Franklin Regional Council of Governments

Federal Transit Administration

Greenhouse Gas

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

Geographic Information System

Global Positioning System

Housing Appeal Committee


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

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

Intelligent Transportation Systems

Job Access and Reverse Commute

Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Jacob's Ladder Trail

Joint Transportation Committee

Local Board(s) of Health

Limited English Proficiency

Local Housing Authority

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Level of Service

Local Option Transportation Tax

Local Pavement Management System

Light Rail Vehicle

Local Technical Assistance

Massachusetts General Laws

Hazardous waste cleanup regulations

Uniform procurement law for local governments


Planning/comprehensive permits

Smart growth zoning and housing production

Smart growth school cost reimbursement

Subdivision control

Expedited permitting

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 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

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

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

Old Colony Planning Council

Overall Condition Index (Pavement)

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 Proposal

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

Regional Transportation Plan

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

Small Business Administration

Supplier Diversity Office 

State Implementation Plan (for air quality)

Sustainable Knowledge Corridor

Single Occupancy Vehicle

Special Permit

Special Permit Planning

Site Plan Review

Statewide Planning and Research Funds

Single Room Occupancy

Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District

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)

Transportation Research Board

Trip Reduction Ordinance

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

Water Supply Protection [District]

Westfield State University

Zoning Board of Adjustment (or Appeals)

Additional Documents

FHEA 10-30-14 Final Report with cover.pdf

Fair Housing Equity Assessment
This report documents the effects of the history of segregation in the region and the inequitable access to opportunity.
FHEA 10-30-14 Final Report with cover.pdf

PV_ACTION_PLAN_TZ_Edit_01_14_2014 web.pdf

Our Next Future: Complete Plan
Our Next Future: Complete Plan
PV_ACTION_PLAN_TZ_Edit_01_14_2014 web.pdf

PV_ACTION_PLAN_intro-chapter 4.pdf

Our Next Future: Introduction through Chapter 4
Our Next Future: Introduction through Chapter 4
PV_ACTION_PLAN_intro-chapter 4.pdf


Our Next Future: Chapter 5 through Chapter 8
Our Next Future: Chapter 5 through Chapter 8


Our Next Future: Chapter 9 (Valley Vision 4)
Our Next Future: Chapter 9 (Valley Vision 4)


Our Next Future: Chapter 10 through Checklist
Our Next Future: Chapter 10 through Checklist

Our Next Future Articles

2 years 9 months ago

The communities of Amherst, Holyoke, Northampton, South Hadley and Springfield, the University of Massachusetts, and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission have been working for nearly two years to bring this 21st century amenity here.

2 years 9 months ago

ValleyBike Share, which plans to put up rent-a-bike stations across the Pioneer Valley including Springfield Union Station and the Amherst town green, has a federal funding contract in hand just in time for Bay State Bike Week. 

4 years 1 month ago

East Longmeadow residents, business owners, and all interested persons from surrounding communities are invited to learn about and provide input for the Town of East Longmeadow's Hazard Mitigation Plan on Monday, January 25th at 6:00 p.m. at the East Longmeadow Fire Department, 150 Somers Road.

A portion of the proposed plan for Pleasant Street Improvements in Northampton
4 years 4 months ago

PVPC has completed a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of the City of Northampton’s proposed improvements to Pleasant Street. The results of the HIA show that the proposed Pleasant Street Improvements would have an overwhelmingly positive health impact with local and regional significance. 

5 years 2 months ago

SKC videos