MAPC Technical Assistance Program


The MAPC Technical Assistance Program (TAP) enables MAPC to work with individual municipalities and groups of municipalities to advance a variety of municipal and regional planning and shared services projects. Direct calls for applications are generally released twice a year in the spring and fall. Awards are made on a rolling basis pending the availability of funding, with a batch of awards often made in the late fall and late spring of each year.

What's New: Spring 2017 Call for Concepts

Municipalities are invited to submit project concepts for work to be undertaken by MAPC through our Technical Assistance Program (TAP). Through our Spring 2017 Call for Project Concepts, we are soliciting ideas for projects that will commence in summer or fall 2017. At this time, due to funds generously granted to MAPC by the Barr Foundation, we are particularly able to address project ideas in the following categories. However, municipalities should feel free to suggest projects that meet other needs as well.

  • Arts and Cultural Planning and Creative Placemaking: Projects that engage arts, culture, and creativity to advance municipal and regional planning objectives across a range of topics, such as revitalizing neighborhoods, downtowns, village centers, or old industrial sites; , housing and economic development; advancing clean energy; reducing greenhouse gas emissions or adapting to climate change; improving public health outcomes; protecting the environment; improving mobility; or generally making your community more sustainable and resilient. Projects can include creative placemaking, creative community development, cultural asset mapping, cultural planning, arts and cultural data collection and analysis, arts and cultural policy, and projects advancing equity and inclusion, including those that use creative approaches to engaging constituencies that are traditionally under-represented in the planning process. For examples of current projects, please visit: http://www.mapc.org/artsandculture.
  • Equitable Transit-Oriented Development: Station area or corridor plans that focus on redevelopment opportunities around subway, light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit, or key bus routes. Projects are expected to include an emphasis on affordable or mixed-income housing, mixed-use development (residential along with commercial or industrial), and/or economic development in smart growth locations. You can also request market analyses for the study area. These planning processes generally include meaningful community engagement, with an emphasis on traditionally under-represented populations. They can also include related topics such as public health outcomes, minimizing or mitigating displacement, and/or clean energy improvements. For examples of previous plans, please visit: http://www.mapc.org/TOD.

We would also would like to make you aware of an imminent technical assistance opportunity provided by the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), called “Planning Assistance Grants.” We are anticipating that this RFR will be released over the next few weeks. We expect that these funds can be used for implementing smart growth recommendations such as housing bylaws and ordinances, climate adaptation recommendations, zoning for land preservation, and other smart growth land use practices. Remember that MAPC can be a technical assistance provider to your community on these grants, so you may want to discuss a concept with us if you plan to use MAPC services later. MAPC may also be able to provide additional funds to augment the state and local funds if a project scope exceeds the amount available from those sources.

Funding Sources

The TAP is funded through a variety of sources including District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA), Planning for MetroFuture Technical Assistance (PMTA), the Community Compact Cabinet, and foundation grants. MAPC also actively fundraises to expand our technical assistance budget by seeking funds from philanthropic sources.

  • The District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) program is made possible by the Legislature and the Governor, which allocates funds for the program annually through a state apropriation. The program is administered by each of the state’s 13 Regional Planning Agencies (RPAs), which together cover the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns. In 2016, MAPC partnered with the Baker Administration to allocate a portion of funds towards projects aligning with Community Compact Best Practices. DLTA projects run through the calendar year (January – December).
  • The Planning for MetroFuture Technical Assistance (PMTA) program is administered by MAPC and is funded by municipal assessments. MAPC’s PMTA program serves the 101 cities and towns in our region and aims to advance the implementation of projects that align with the goals and objectives in the MetroFuture regional plan and the priorities identified in the MAPC Strategic Plan. PMTA projects run through the fiscal year (July – June).
  • The Community Compact Cabinet (CCC)* elevates the Baker Administration’s partnerships with cities and towns. The Cabinet champions municipal interests across all executive secretariats and agencies, and develops, in consultation with cities and towns, mutual standards and best practices for both the state and municipalities. Funding for municipalities that have signed on to CCC is made possible through the Administration's Best Practices Program, the Efficiency and Regionalization Grant Program, and the Information Technology Grant Program. *Cities and towns apply directly to the Baker Administration for CCC funding and can engage MAPC as a technical assistance provider.
  • The Barr Foundation has also provided generous support to assist in several topical areas, including arts and culture, equitable transit-oriented development (E-TOD), mobility, and climate adaptation.

MAPC utilizes all of these sources of funding -- in addition to municipal fee-for-service contributions, in-kind resources from municipalities and partners, and grant funding -- to enable our staff to provide technical assistance to municipalities on a variety of planning, procurement, and shared services projects.


Submit an Application for MAPC Technical Assistance

MAPC issues direct calls for applications twice a year in the fall and spring. Applications are also accepted on a rolling basis. Awards are made on a rolling basis pending the availability of funding, with a batch of awards often made in the late fall and early spring.

Criteria for Project Selection

After you submit a concept, we will work with you to determine the best funding source or sources for each project, based on the specific ideas you present and the timetable and criteria of the funding sources that are best suited to fund the work. Just come up with the best concepts you can in accordance with the guidelines in this memo and we will try and fund as many projects as possible through our technical assistance resources or by working with you to apply to state grant programs. Generally speaking, we give preference to projects that advance the regional land use and policy plan, MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region. Projects that involve multiple municipalities and projects that will advance equity within the region are always considered important priorities.

Approved projects are awarded a funding allocation that is based on an assessment of anticipated tasks. If MAPC cannot fully fund the project, we will work with the municipality (or municipalities) to achieve additional funding from other sources. Most awards will draw upon a variety of funding sources – including DLTA, PMTA, grants from private foundations, leveraged grants from state programs, and fee-for-service contributions.

Selected projects are assigned to a Project Manager, who works with municipalities to develop detailed scopes of work.

Questions?

Contact Mark Racicot if you have questions about the application process and the status of your submittal. Feel free to reach out to the subregional coordinator serving your municipality or MAPC department and division managers and directors to discuss a potential project.

Past Projects

Learn more about previously funded projects on our Funded Projects page.