The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB) provides planning and economic development services for six counties and 84 communities throughout central Alabama. As a specialized resource, the RPCGB works alongside local government, citizens, non-profits and the private sector in an effort to create solutions that promote physical and economic growth.
Funding for the RPCGB is provided through several means, including federal matching grants and annual dues paid by the member governments of Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby and Walker counties. Funding obtained by the RPCGB makes it possible for the Commission to implement a variety of unique and expansive initiatives. Many of Greater Birmingham’s local governments aren’t equipped with additional staff members to handle this type of specialized planning-making the RPCGB a valuable resource to help fill that void. Currently, the RPCGB maintains several community-wide initiatives including CommuteSmart and Alabama Partners for Clean Air.
The CommuteSmart program is designed to encourage better commuting habits in Jefferson and Shelby counties in order to help alleviate traffic congestion and reduce air pollution. In an effort to help reduce the high level of emissions caused by single-occupancy commuting, CommuteSmart works to educate commuters about using “cleaner modes of transportation,” such as carpooling, bicycling, and public transit.
The RPCGB also plays a significant role in the continual growth of Alabama Partners for Clean Air (APCA). This initiative is designed to implement strategies that help improve air quality in Jefferson and Shelby Counties. The goals of the APCA are to “achieve and maintain compliance with national air quality standards, to protect and improve public health, to minimize the economic impacts on existing businesses and support economic growth consistent with clean air goals.” The RPCGB promotes this program through several methods, including helping to educate businesses and groups about better air quality practices, voluntary emissions testing, alternative fuels and ridesharing options.
The following is a complete list of RPCGB provided services. For more information, please visit the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham’s web site, at www.rpcgb.org.
Services provided to member governments and the communities through cross-functional teams include the following areas.
- Intergovernmental Cooperation: Encourages multi-jurisdictional planning for comprehensive land use, corridor and strategic development encouraging cooperative efforts and project efficiencies.
- Transportation and Transit Planning: Provides long range programs and planning include urbanized area plans, corridor plans, greenway plans along with traffic counts, safety studies to impact transportation in the region.
- Community Planning: Provides land use planning and analysis for member governments including zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, mapping and general community plans for a highest and best-use basis for development in the region.
- Community and Economic Development: Assists member governments with applications for federal and state grants, provides information and assistance to new and expanding businesses to increase the tax base in the region.
- Information Management (GIS): Provides GIS data development, analysis and deployment assistance, redistricting and site analysis for member governments.
Written by Kate Agliata