About MAG

MAG Agency Overview PDF download cover

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) provides a forum for local governments working together on issues that affect the lives of everyone in the greater Phoenix region. Our Member Agencies include 27 cities and towns, 3 Native nations, Maricopa County, portions of Pinal County, and the Arizona Department of Transportation. Our planning area encompasses about 10,600 square miles.

We are a regional agency that conducts planning and makes policy decisions in a number of core areas. These include safe and smart travel, the economy and growth, environment and sustainability, and improving quality of life, all with a focus on efficient and effective operations.

MAG in a Minute

What is the Maricopa Association of Governments and how are we making a difference in the lives of greater Phoenix area residents? See this quick overview about our role in improving the Maricopa region.

MAG Matters

MAG Matters video series.


MAG's Purpose

Maricopa Association of Governments formed in 1967 when elected officials recognized the need for long range planning and policy development on a regional scale. They realized that issues such as transportation and air quality affected residents beyond the borders of their jurisdictions. Learn more about MAG's formation and designations.

MAG provides a forum for research, discussion and study of regional issues. MAG’s goal is to focus on regional coordination, local leadership, and applied research to strengthen the greater Phoenix area. MAG is based on the principle that local governments, which are closest to the people, should have the primary responsibility for addressing those local problems and needs. Read MAG's bylaws.


Our Core Areas

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Safe & Smart

MAG leverages emerging technologies and is one of the nation's most sophisticated metropolitan planning organizations.

MAG plans for current and future transportation needs to provide safer and more efficient travel options for the region.

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Environment & Sustainability

Protecting the environment has important implications for the air, land, animals, transportation, and economic development. MAG develops broad strategies to ensure that the MAG region grows clean through environmental planning and keep air and water clean for the people, animals, and land.

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Quality of Life

Regional planning efforts to enhance people's quality of life include addressing homelessness, domestic violence, active transportation, human services transportation, and litter prevention. MAG prioritizes building communities that work for people of all ages and disabilities. Together, these efforts ensure people can live whole, vibrant, and safe lives.

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Economy &

Robust transportation infrastructure and vital analytical tools stimulate trade and investment in the region. These tools help the region to compete more successfully in the global marketplace. MAG develops robust analytics in business, international trade, and transportation planning that drive and support economic development. The priority is to plan a future with better jobs and an economy for all.

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Efficient & Effective Operations

MAG understands its responsibility to be good stewards of the public trust and ensure the utmost value for every public dollar. We respect and appreciate our member agencies and partners' time and energy dedicated to our shared work. We strive to use these resources wisely and to deliver maximum value. We work to ensure operation in a transparent, highly performing, ethical, and financially responsible manner.


History of MAG, Formation and Designations

MAG Building

In Maricopa County, local government cooperation in the early 1960's resulted in the completion of the multi-city sewage treatment plant at 91st Avenue. This occurred prior to federal and state initiatives and incentives for regional planning and cooperation.

Changes in the Federal Aid Highway Act led to cooperative transportation planning with the creation of the Valley Area Traffic and Transportation Study (VATTS). Continuing federal government decentralization initiatives led to the establishment of federal regions. Their goals were bringing federal programs to the people and incorporating greater review of federal programs through the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act.

These changing federal policies that required more local planning and review, and the demonstrated success of previous regional efforts led local governments in Maricopa County to form MAG in 1967. It was designed to be a nonprofit corporation to act as the vehicle to address areas of common regional interest. At the first MAG meeting, the consensus of the Regional Council was that the areas of water, air pollution and solid waste disposal were of primary concern. It was also agreed that there was a need for the standardization of building materials and for public works specifications. In addition, the transportation planning efforts that began with VATTS were incorporated into the scope of MAG's work. Several key events in the early history of MAG are outlined below:

  • Regional cooperation was encouraged by success of multi-city sewage system in the early 1960s.
  • The 1962 Federal Aid Highway Act required regional transportation planning, which resulted in the formation of the Valley Area Traffic and Transportation Area Study (VATTS) on March 12, 1965.
  • The 1965 Federal Housing Act Amendments and 1966 Metropolitan Development Act provided legal and financial impetus for a full-fledged regional agency.
  • MAG was formed in 1967 by concurrent resolutions from its member agencies to foster regional cooperation and to address regional problems.
  • VATTS was incorporated into MAG in 1967.
  • Executive Order 70-2 established six Planning Districts in Arizona in 1970.
  • MAG designated as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) by the governor in 1973.
  • MAG designated as the Water Quality Planning Agency by the governor in 1975.
  • MAG designated as the Lead Air Quality Planning Agency by the governor in 1978.
  • MAG designated as the Solid Waste Planning Agency in 1979.

MAG's Bylaws

The MAG bylaws summarizes the organization:

"The Maricopa Association of Governments is based on the principle that cities, towns, counties, and Indian Communities, which are closest to the people, should exercise the basic initiative and leadership and should have the primary responsibility for addressing those local problems and needs which require action on an area-wide or regional basis."

MAG’s Articles of Incorporation state that the association was formed to do the following:

  • Provide a forum for discussion and study of regional problems of mutual interest to the governments in the region.
  • Ensure, through cooperation and the pooling of common resources, maximum efficiency and economy in governmental operations, which will provide every citizen with the utmost value for every dollar.
  • Identify and comprehensively plan for the solution of regional problems requiring multicity, town and county cooperation.
  • Facilitate agreements among the governmental units for specific projects or other interrelated developmental actions or for the adoption of common policies with respect to problems that are common to its members.
  • Attain the greatest degree of intergovernmental cooperation possible in order to prepare for future growth and development of the region.

Contact Us

Maricopa Association of Governments
302 North 1st Avenue, Suite 300
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
Map | Directions

Phone (602) 254-6300
Fax (602) 254-6490

MAG Email

Para ayuda en espaƱol, por favor llame al
(602) 452-5029.