Regional Planning in Rural Living

Mark Muro at the New Republic reports on the Rural Innovation Initiative, “a plan to increase the economic viability of rural communities by promoting a regional outlook in the planning and coordination of rural development programs at USDA.”

The initiative intends to make regional planning — which has traditionally been considered a tool for more metropolitan areas — more attractive for rural communities. Muro writes about the incentives of the program:

[T]he initiative provides additional money for staff to provide technical assistance and support for rural communities developing Regional strategic plans. That way, rural communities will receive useful help as more and more of them realize they are better off working regionally to compete globally, especially by leveraging regional assets and creating win-win partnerships with nearby metropolitan and micropolitan hubs.

It looks as though both rural and more metropolitan areas can benefit equally from a more regional approach to planning.


About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on July 13, 2010, in Municipal Government, Public Infrastructure, Regions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Perhaps the best way to keep a rural area from becoming a suburban area is to have a regional plan in place that diverts development elsewhere. I was involved in a regional plan in a rural county in Utah a couple of years back. When we started, the residents were very resistant to a plan because they thought it would mean that they would be attracting development that would take away their rural way of life. Once we convinced them that development was going to occur no matter what, they realized that their only hope was to make sure that it didn’t happen on their farm lands. By the end of it, they were asking why they didn’t do it 20 years earlier when they could have prevented the bedroom communities that already existed there. Very, very important!

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