Growth Strategies: Policy Implications

Growth Strategies for Rural Communities: A Preliminary Investigation
Rural Policy Implications:
Growth initiatives focused on housing were identified by participants in both growing and declining municipalities and, based on the current system, housing uses the growth strategies of retaining and attracting people and health and wellbeing. Future research should identify housing as a growth strategy in and of itself.
Future research using categories of growth strategies should group retaining and expanding local business and attracting new business as one strategy, namely retaining, expanding, and attracting business.
Information gathered in interviews indicates that success is not determined by a systematic review of the initiative and there is little indication of readjustment of actions based on this review.
Growing municipalities tend to invest in initiatives to attract and retain people, attract new business, and regional cooperation, while declining municipalities tend to invest in initiatives focused on improving health and wellbeing or recreation and culture.
The type of initiatives that employ growth strategies is what impacts population growth or decline. It is on what growth strategies these assets are focused that impacts the population trend. The research findings indicate that changes are needed to the growth strategy categories to better reflect local activities; the new categories are: retaining and attracting people, housing, retaining/expanding/attracting business, tourism, community capacity, regional cooperation, health and wellbeing, and recreation and culture.