As a model grassroots effort which began in 1992 under the auspices of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, New Designs for Growth has been a guiding force that has helped to shape commercial and residential developments. As a collaborative team of community volunteers, advocates, planning and design professionals, developers and governmental representatives, the initiative continues to help shape the future of this region. New Designs for Growth is housed at the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments.

The NWMCOG’s Regional Planning and Community Development Department's goal is to provide useful resources and services to enable and enhance local decision-makers', stakeholders', and the public's ability to evaluate and make the best possible choices to protect, enhance, and promote a high quality of life in the region. Serving the collective vision and interests of communities in northwest Lower Michigan is the reason we are here.