We help communities plan cooperative solutions for the future.

As the regional planning organization for Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties, the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission was created to serve as a skilled resource for municipalities. We bring to the table expertise in planning for the future, an understanding of local needs, and a network of state and federal relationships. As an unbiased partner, we help communities define their collective visions, create actionable plans and secure funding to maintain infrastructure, spur economic development and preserve natural resources.

Learn more about how we operate.

Our Planning Roles

As one of 14 regional planning and development organizations in the state of Michigan, we are designated by federal, state and local government to serve as:


The Designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph and Niles/Buchanan/Cass County transportation study areas


The Designated Economic Development District for Southwest Michigan, cultivating projects and serving as a link to the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration


A member of the Michigan Association of Regions and of the Michigan Transportation Planning Association (MTPA), working collaboratively with federal, state and regional entities


An unbiased, expert partner to help municipalities engage in community planning, from crafting a shared vision for the future to defining steps and strategies to achieve those dreams

Our Values

As an organization governed by a diverse board of citizens and leaders, we are committed to working transparently and collaboratively with all stakeholders, guided by these values.


We believe that all people should have a voice in solving the challenges their communities face.


We believe quality data is essential in our work.


We value a regional perspective that informs our approach to multi-jurisdictional challenges.


We believe that actions should be connected to plans.


We believe that successful solutions balance the needs of people, the economy, and nature.


We believe that responsible stewardship of the natural and built environment is essential for prosperity.


We believe in returning the highest possible value for every dollar spent through SWMPC.


We value perseverance.