Metroplan was created in 1955 by local political and business leaders, acting out of necessity and inspired by the principle that the metropolitan area was one community and that the problems and opportunities of each entity were common to all. Today, Metroplan is a voluntary membership organization open to any local government in the metropolitan area and supported by member dues and federal and state grants.
Metroplan has served as the areas designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) since 1972. Its function as an MPO is to work with local governments, the state department of transportation, and local transit providers to determine transportation needs and funding priorities for federal transportation investments. Metroplan also provides general planning, mapping, and technical assistance to local governments.
Over the years, Metroplan helped plan such signature projects as Burns Park in North Little Rock, the open space design for the Pulaski County banks of the Arkansas River which would become Riverfront Park, and recently helped incorporate the Mid-Arkansas Water Alliance to secure long-term sources of high quality drinking water for the region.