Metropolitan Area Planning Council
A digital hub for community planning
A comprehensive interactive website for the area's largest municipal planning agency creates a vibrant digital hub for sharing ideas and resources with a diverse group of audiences.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is the regional planning agency serving the people who live and work in the 101 cities and towns of Metropolitan Boston.
MAPC’s mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration. The council works toward sound municipal management efforts including sustainable land use, protection of natural resources, transportation, housing public safety, economic development, clean energy, healthy communities, and equity and opportunity among people of all backgrounds.
MAPC wanted their website to educate residents about ongoing and upcoming projects, provide a wealth of tools and resources to the public, and encourage residents to get involved in the community in a variety of ways without putting people to sleep!
New and noteworthy
A flexible system for updating web content
In order to keep the community abreast of news and happenings in the area, the MAPC website would regular content updates. To accommodate for this, we designed a modular system made up of stackable content blocks and trained MAPC’s in-house team on how to easily swap out and add content within the existing design.
How do you engage visitors with massive amounts of data and detail without overloading them or the system providing that information?
First off – keep the visual space clean and organized. Break up the content into digestible sections and you liven up the layout with a pop of color. Add visual interest and unity by featuring vibrant photographs of real people at real events engaging together to better their communities.
Then there's the technical aspect of what we do: the programming that associates people, places, publications, presentations and even events together: easy to enter...even easier to output. We optimize the page content for search engines, crunch images, build responsively, test and retest, host, and follow best practices.
Areas of expertise
Showcasing MAPC’s broad knowledge base
To cover all areas of community development, MAPC specializes in a variety of areas—ranging from arts & culture to public safety. We built individual pages to highlight each of those ten areas, filled with information on services, current projects and initiatives, and downloadable resources.
The faces of MAPC
We felt the brilliant minds of MAPC deserved to shine in the limelight. To put their vast experience and expertise on display, we built a comprehensive staff page with individual bios for each member, and incorporated the different staff teams into footer sections of relevant sub pages throughout the site.
For staff headshots, we created a photoshoot guide to be distributed between the department, ensuring the headshots looked cohesive and professional throughout the staff page.
Behind the scenes
We developed a custom WordPress template for MAPC’s team to add and edit staff bios and contact details, select categories of expertise, connect to departments and publications, etc.
Inputting a staff member is easy!
MAPC staff can add a new hire, include their bio, title, contact details, and assign this person to multiple departments.
In the know
Resources for an informed public
To further position MAPC as the thought leader they are, we programmed several custom-post types – including one for publications and other digital assets to act as a filterable resource library with taggable, downloadable documents organized by departments.
“Design Principles' work on the City of New Bedford's website received the Massachusetts Municipal Association's award for best website of cities over 50,000 people in 2015. The attention garnered caused MAPC to reach out to include Design Principles in a website redesign RFP the following year. We landed the project, and our redesign effort replaced MAPC's aging site with a fresh design that allowed their critical work in the region to shine. It puts a spotlight on the valuable progress they're making on behalf of citizens.”
MIKE CRONIN, Vice President | Design Principles, Inc.