Grand Valley Metro Council

About GVMC

Our Vision

A Council of Governments dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of the people of our metropolitan area through collaboration among regional partners.

Our Mission

The mission of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council is to advance the current and future well-being of our metropolitan area by bringing together public and private sectors to cooperatively advocate, plan for, and coordinate the provision of services and investments which have environmental, economic and social impact.

In pursuit of this mission, it is understood that the well-being of the metropolitan community relies on good government and springs from a shared vision that encompasses many elements, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Preparing now for the challenges of the future

  • Planning for orderly growth and development

  • Minimizing urban sprawl

  • Preserving and enhancing the natural, social, and physical environments

  • Promoting economic vitality and employment opportunities

  • Equitably sharing responsibility for community needs

  • Recognizing the strengths and benefits of diversity

  • Promoting quality lifelong educational opportunities

  • Promoting quality cultural and recreational institutions and facilities

  • Developing a sensible and environmentally sound transportation system to serve all population groups

  • Vigilantly preserving the health and safety of the general public

  • Effectively utilizing and enhancing existing infrastructure

  • Eliminating unnecessary duplication of services

  • Effectively advocating for financial equity and other assistance with the State and Federal governments

  • Conserving and enhancing healthy neighborhoods, business districts and employment centers

  • Promoting a high quality of life now and for future generations

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Ensure Trust, Credibility, and Confidence
    Only with trust, credibility, and confidence can government succeed. The Grand Valley Metro Council aims for the highest integrity, ensuring that these values are upheld in all the work it facilitates.

  2. Managing Emerging Issues
    The role of local government is changing rapidly. The Grand Valley Metro Council will be a hub of innovation where emerging issues are recognized, new ideas are shared, and best practices are implemented across a variety of municipalities.

  3. Encouraging Collaborative Service Sharing
    At in time when municipal budgets are constrained, the importance of collaborative service sharing cannot be understated. The Grand Valley Metro Council will help municipalities save by unveiling ways to share services and build collaborations across municipal boundaries.

  4. Coordinating a Region-Wide Training Exchange
    Local governments need skilled and educated leaders in order to build the strongest communities. The Grand Valley Metro Council will coordinate trainings to strengthen the skills of leaders across the region.

  5. Nurturing a Regional Economic Development Partnership
    The Grand Valley Metro Council will work with businesses and economic development agencies to foster partnerships which promote development across the region.

  6. Planning for Sustainable Communities
    Successful communities are built on strategies that are both environmentally and economically sustainable. The Grand Valley Metro Council will help engage and plan sustainable communities that serve the needs of the local residents.

GVMC Activities


GVMC works proactively with stakeholders, as well as state and federal officials to analyze current legislative issues and impact legislation that affects our interests. The Council works to educate our communities about issues that affect them and promote the interests of local government in Lansing.

The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council reviews, monitors, and proposes legislation that supports its members' interests. GVMC regularly invites federal and state elected officials to discuss recent or pending legislation. Representatives from the Michigan Municipal League and Michigan Townships Association often attend meetings to provide legislative counsel and legislative updates. GVMC coordinates its legislative activities with:

  • County Road Association of Michigan

  • Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Michigan Association of Counties

  • Michigan Environmental Council

  • Michigan Municipal League

  • Michigan Townships Association


The transportation department's mission is to provide a forum for continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative regional multi-mode transportation planning processes. The Department is involved in regional planning, management and operations, air quality, data collection and distribution, public involvement and education, and interaction with various joint programs of GVMC, Kent and Ottawa Counties, the State of Michigan, and the US Department of Transportation.

The transportation department of the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council (GVMC) is in charge of implementing the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) planning process as included in US code 23, Section 450.300. The transportation planning process is a multi-modal process. All modes of transportation are planned for, including:

  • Freight

  • Rail

  • Transit

  • Non-motorized (pedestrian/bicycle)

  • Highways

  • Aviation

A variety of tools and programs are used to plan for the Grand Rapids metropolitan area, including:

  • Congestion management system

  • Pavement management system

  • Safety planning

  • Regional traffic count program

Environmental justice and air quality conformity are incorporated in the planning process. Input from the public is sought whenever plans and programs are developed throughout the region.


An acronym for "Regional Geographic Information System," provides a common database, infrastructure, and suite of applications used for spatial data management by our members.  To facilitate a more informed decision making process, twenty cities, townships, and quasi-governmental organizations have joined together to develop REGIS, one of the largest local government multi-participant Geographic Information System (GIS) projects.

Environmental programs:

Grand Valley Metro Council’s Department of Environmental Programs is addressing resource issues in the area we serve, and as we look toward a future under the Regional Prosperity Initiative, our efforts will expand to coordinate with other environmental programs and new partners.