While a master plan typically looks 20 years or more into the future, it must be re-assessed and updated at regular intervals. Grand Rapids' last Master Plan was adopted in 1963. Although the city has been continuously involved in planning (and the Master Plan has been amended many times), the community's vision for the future had not been comprehensively evaluated for a very long time.
The updated Master Plan, adopted in 2002, records the community consensus on a new vision for Grand Rapids. That vision covers a broad range of topics that are important to quality of life (for example, schools, public safety or job training); however, the Master Plan focuses primarily on those land use, development and infrastructure issues on which city policy can have a direct impact.