Southern Maine Planning & Development Commission
Founded in 1964, in response to an identified need for a coordinated effort for economic development and resource management, SMPDC has been conducting economic development, environmental, land use and transportation planning and providing technical assistance to the municipalities in the region for over 45 years. SMPDC has recently changed its name (formerly Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission) to reflect the Commissions’ expanded role in community development, housing and brownfields redevelopment. A Council of Governments enabled by state statute, SMPDC includes thirty-nine communities in York, southern Oxford and Cumberland County and the county of York itself as members.
In 2010, the SMPDC region had a population of approximately 210,000 people. While somewhat small geographically compared to other regions of the state, this number represented 16% of the state's population. Similarly, with a workforce of about 117,000, the area contained about 17% of the state's workforce.
Referred to as the "Gateway to Maine" the region contains both urbanized areas, (such as Biddeford/Saco and Sanford) rural villages/towns, summer resorts and a coastline of approximately 300 miles. It is connected to a number of cities through I-95 and modes of public transportation, including the "Downeaster" Amtrak service. The southern tip of the region in Kittery is 60 miles from downtown Boston.