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Framework for Our Future

Framework Summary Document

The Framework for Our Future: A Regional Prosperity Plan for Northwest Michigan is a regional resource for communities working to meet local goals. The Framework was developed, with participation from a broad range of community leaders, stakeholders, and the public, as part of Michigan’s Regional Prosperity Initiative. It includes a wealth of information and tools that all parts of the community – the public, community leaders, businesses, nonprofits, public agencies, and statewide stakeholders – can use to supplement their local deliberation, planning, and decision-making processes. 

The Framework is a starting point for community discussions and action around important community development issues. While it does not, and cannot, comprehensively address the enormous breadth of community data and issues associated with these issues, ongoing community participation, deliberation, and action will help to make this document a valuable resource that can support community planning and action over the long term. 

The summary document is provided here for your convenience. Links to the Framework chapters are available below, and on each Community topic page.  Information on the Regional Prosperity Initiative is available


Framework Chapters:


A Framework for Growth & Investment in Northwest Michigan


A Framework for Housing in Northwest Michigan


A Framework for Transportation in Northwest Michigan


A Framework for Arts & Culture in Northwest Michigan


A Framework for Recreation in Northwest Michigan


A Framework for Natural Resources in Northwest Michigan



A Framework for Talent in Northwest Michigan


A Framework for Healthy Communities in Northwest Michigan


A Framework for Food & Farming in Northwest Michigan



Making Connections: Understanding Community Health, Safety, and Welfare in Northwest Michigan


Note: The Framework was developed with support from funders including the US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities program, the Michigan Regional Prosperity Region, the Michigan Department of Transportation, and the Michigan State Housing Development Auhtority. While the majority of the Framework covers the entire ten-county Northwest Michigan region, some elements of the Framework were also developed specifically for the Grand Vision region of Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford counties

What is the Regional Prosperity Initiative?

Michigan’s “Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI),”  as initiated by Governor Snyder and signed into law as a part of the FY 2014 budget (59 PA 2013), encourages local private, public and non-profit partners to identify regionally aligned growth and investment strategies for Lansing to support, not the other way around. IT also provides the framework for all state departments to share common service areas and support individual regional prosperity plans. Bottom-line is that the RPI is focused on streamlining state services and highlighting the regionally defined goals and strategies that will further our region’s success. A map of Michigan’s Prosperity Regions and more information about the program can be found at:      

As part of the statewide Regional Prosperity Initiative, Networks Northwest will work with the ten-county region of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford counties to develop resources and tools for local decision makers as they also work to create more opportunities for investment in their communities. The common denominator for all regions across the state will be the development of a “regional prosperity plan.” Locally, the regional prosperity planning process is being called, “Framework for Our Future: A Regional Prosperity Plan for Northwest Michigan.”  This resource will provide information, tools, and step-by-step action guides for local governments, business leaders, nonprofits, and other organizations seeking resources for communities wishing to connect to larger, more regional goals.

Networks Northwest’s Regional Prosperity Plan is not a state mandate, nor does it supersede any local government decision-making; your community’s participation is 100% voluntary.

As your local RPI contact, Networks Northwest will continue to provide updates and announcements to all stakeholders as the project moves forward. If you have questions about the state program or the local process, please contact Matt McCauley at 231-929-5000, or via email using our contact form.

See more information on the State of Michigan Regional Prosperity Initiative, and Frequently Asked Questions


Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.

Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission