While working on the now completed, DIRECTION LOOKING FORWARD 2040: the Long Range Transportation Plan for the Richland County region, I was buoyed by the renewed  vigor and enthusiasm among the community to guide the growth within the region along a sustainable and resilient path with a focus on collaboration, synergy and enhanced quality of life. As the staff engaged with stakeholders to identifying our most pressing transportation issues, the conversations would often turn the spotlight on related land use, community development and economic issues and the cooperative process required to foster broad involvement to seek solutions that have a positive impact equitably. Planning is managing change. As our world and communities change, we have new concerns that have come to the forefront including climate, air quality, sustainability, infrastructure resilience, and public health. These issues call for program and solutions both at the local level and as regional policies. RCRPC is uniquely positioned to address these issues in Richland County because of our unique membership that represents a cross section of the areas governmental, industrial, business and civic community, and our demonstrated ability to address issues without regard to traditional political boundaries and/or special interests. In the past, the Commission and staff has successfully collaborated to formulate plans for farmland preservation, storm water regulations and comprehensive land use to protect the County’s rural character from unplanned development. We have assisted political subdivisions, economic development organizations and community groups by providing data and resources required to implement successful economic strategies for establishing enterprise zones, community reinvestment areas and job ready sites. RCRPC is working to promote active living, sustainable land use policies, multi modal transportation, and economic vitality. The strength of our region is its engaged citizens and its success depends on finding common purpose, forging alliances, protecting resources and building a community that people want to call home.

-Jotika Shetty Executive Director