“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.