Economic Development & Planning

Merrimack Valley Priority Growth Strategy

Regional growth is our priority

MVPC pioneers thought leadership. We continually strive for excellence in managing growth and developing today’s communities…a refreshing perspective after over 50 years in the business. The most profound exemplification of this perspective is found in our Priority Growth Strategy, the first of its kind in over 30 years.
The Priority Growth Strategy (Strategy) is the official planning policy for all of Merrimack Valley. This forward-thinking plan embraces principles of smart growth and sustainability, and articulates a regional vision of promoting growth in areas best able to accommodate growth, while protecting the region’s most critical natural resources.
The Strategy identifies more than 50 Concentrated Development Centers (CDC), which are areas of existing, compact development or suitable for future high density development. These sites are appropriately zoned as commercial, industrial, or mixed-use and have existing infrastructure in place. The Strategy also suggests areas that should not be developed in order to preserve the character of the region and to protect environmental resources. It evaluates the suitability of the regional transportation network to serve the different land-use patterns and recommends smart mobility improvements that will best serve present and future generations.
In 2013, the MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development incorporated MVPC’s Priority Growth Strategy into the statewide development plan entitled Planning Ahead for Growth. The Merrimack Valley Region’s section of Planning Ahead for Growth can be found here: 2013 Merrimack Valley Regional Plan


Click here to view MVPC’s Interactive Priority Growth Strategy (requires latest versions of Adobe Reader and Quicktime player)

Click here to download the Regional Strategic Framework Plan – a 2011 sequel to the Priority Growth Strategy.




We help our communities plan for the future. Using a wide-range of planning techniques, strategic and smart growth resources, and the latest technology, we build region-wide, community focused plans that ensure the well-being of our current and future citizens.

  • Merrimack Valley Planning Commission
    160 Main Street
    Haverhill, MA 01830
    p: 978.374.0519
    f: 978.372.4890

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