MAP Board Policy Development and Linkage

Each year at their annual retreat in January, the Michigan Association of Planning Board of Directors deliberates over two days to identify the priority planning issue or topic it wishes to learn more about over the next year.  It explores the most pressing challenges facing our industry, and our members, and considers how MAP as a professional association can provide best practices, tools, and resources to address the issues, provoke conversations, identity partners, and develop a policy to inform our work, and that of our members. 

Once the theme is selected, the board seeks input from industry leaders, stakeholders, and experts to better understand the issue.  This process of learning is called “linkage”.  The board typically invites experts from planning-adjacent professions to join them at board meetings for informal conversations and discussions about the topic, heightening our understanding of the connections between disciplines, and how planners can expand the stakeholders they work with, and integrate new ideas into their work. 

This “linkage” is foundational to the work of the board, and what we learn is translated into a variety of products.  These products include everything from development of a policy that drives the work of the board, and of MAP, and manifests as deliverables to our members like feature articles in our Michigan Planner magazine or E-dition, sessions at conference or at our Spring Institute, partnerships or coalitions formed with other organizations that advance the theme, or securing funding to develop best practice guides that provide instruction to implement.  In 2021, the board took their linkage learnings a step further, and developed Board Linkage Briefs, summaries of what the board learned during its meetings with stakeholders and experts, so that our members can learn along with us.

The MAP Board identified Housing as its policy priorities in 2021 and in 2022, and during that time the board met with nonprofit housing providers; Housing Michigan Coalition executive committee members; CDFI’s, banking industry, and the State Land Bank; the manufactured housing industry; and state agencies.  We took what we learned from these experts, did some additional research, and developed a series of Board Linkage Briefs to summarize the takeaways and share with our members.

Board Linkage Briefs - summaries of what we learned at linkage meetings


Allowing Most Housing By Right

Building Collaboration:  Planners Can't Do It Alone

What is a CDFI?

Why is There a Housing Shortage (Part One)?

Why is There a Housing Shortage (Part Two)?

How to Talk about Housing in Your Community


2021 Board Linkage Statement – The board provides this narrative to linkage guests to introduce our organization and our interest in housing

2021 Board Linkage Report – a summary of the linkage activities during 2021



The MAP Board, in advance of its 2023 Annual Retreat, is seeking input from our members about YOUR planning priorities, challenges, and successes. Your feedback will inform board discussions at the retreat.

The MAP Board uses various methods to learn of your priorities, including Membership Linkage meetings (the board met with members in the Kalamazoo region in August 2022, and will plan additional Membership Linkage meetings in 2023) and membership surveys.

We want your input to help us identify priorities for 2023. Your input will be collated and presented to the board at its annual retreat, and considered as the board establishes its priorities for upcoming years. Please complete a brief survey!