(Reports) Growth Strategies for Rural Communities
The Rural Development Institute from Brandon University has released two reports on growth strategies for rural communities.
Rural planners and development officers are often looking for ways to sustain and grow population. What growth strategies and assets are tools for rural population growth? While there are many self-directed guides suggesting different growth strategies and a large literature on assets and capitals, there is no research comparing the growth strategies and assets used by rural municipalities with growing and declining populations. Past growth strategies used by rural specialists were identified from a number of self-directed guides and six municipalities were identified for the study: three municipalities with stable or growing populations and three municipalities with declining populations.
“There are equal and opposite factors pulling local residents away for jobs, education, and services, including health specialists. When coupled with aging demographics, we see older parents dying in rural areas, and much of their wealth (and life insurance policies) are being transferred out of the local area to their children, likely in urban centres. It is of little surprise that growth efforts in the last two decades repeatedly call for two additional factors: the importance of local capacity and competencies in rural communities to implement growth strategies and the need for deliberate regional cooperation. In some ways, ‘regional’ is the new rural.”