Sustainable Communities - Goal 4

Assets are planned and developed to benefit the entire region. Farmland, scenic lands, parks, forests and headwater areas provide food and ecosystem services to the region. More new development is focused into existing communities and core cities.

IN 20 YEARS - More regional needs are met by regional entities (land use planning, infrastructure development, watershed protection) while local innovation and community spirit is supported and nurtured by neighbors and communities (schools, job training, co-ops). Most urban and suburban residents are directly fed by local farmers and farmland is seen as a regional asset that all support and protects.

IN 10 YEARS -Separate but interdependent urban and rural economies have become more identifiable (food, fiber, recreation vs. service, production, etc). Distinct "rural conservation" regions have emerged in some parts of the state, while "urban metropolitan economies" have emerged around core cities including Detroit/Flint/Ann Arbor, Lansing/Jackson, Battle Creek/Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids. Food systems and transportation systems are regional in nature with more urban and suburban residents directly fed by local farmers and linked to neighboring regions.

IN 2 YEARS -The state has determined critical regional assets (farmland, recreational land, forests, habitat, etc.) on a map and has begun to target specific resources to the protection, enhancement and sustainability of these areas and their land-based resources. Economic development programs and conservations strategies are tailored to fulfill this vision through new legislative initiatives.