What is MARPA? Why a Regionalization Guide?

The Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies (MARPA) is a coalition of 13 regional planning agencies (RPAs) serving Massachusetts communities. MARPA’s charge is to serve as an effective vehicle for coordination, cooperation and collaboration among the RPAs.

This website and the guidebook on which it is based are designed to encourage more cooperation and collaboration by providing state and local leaders with a resource to help ensure successful projects. The excellent work and report of the Regionalization Advisory Commission, published in 2010, were a direct impetus for our own work; both stimulated interest in regionalization and have led to ongoing requests to our RPAs for even more detailed information. At the same time, many communities have found innovative ways to maintain service and preserve resources and have developed a reservoir of knowledge from their successes—and failures. Our goal is to make all of this information more readily available.

The website and guidebook cover a broad range of essential information, from the relevant legal issues to consider before embarking on a project to a series of best practices for creating and implementing a project. By organizing such information into one comprehensive resource, the RPAs have created an accessible, “one-stop shop” of regionalization information.

This is just the beginning.

The regional planning agencies look forward to working with you to create and implement innovative, effective collaboration by

  • Providing technical expertise and assistance,
  • Coordinating with regional colleagues and state officials,
  • Documenting future efforts, and
  • Serving as a point of dissemination and collaboration.

There are incredible opportunities to maintain or improve services and even to save money or enhance revenue that have not yet been realized. We look forward to hearing about them and helping move them from idea to reality.