Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities

ICMA has released a new report, “Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities,” which focuses on how to adapt smart growth strategies to rural communities. Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, the report examines the challenges rural communities face, including rapid growth at metropolitan edges, declining rural populations, and the loss of working lands. It highlights smart growth strategies that can help guide rural growth while preserving the unique rural character of existing communities.

The report focuses on three central goals: 1) support the rural landscape by creating an economic climate that enhances the viability of working lands and conserves natural lands; 2) help existing places to thrive by taking care of assets and investments such as downtowns, Main Streets, existing infrastructure, and places that the community values; and 3) create great new places by building vibrant, enduring neighborhoods and communities that people, especially young people, don’t want to leave. Featuring case studies from across the country, the report highlights how local governments, states, and non-profits have successfully implemented smart growth strategies to support rural lands, revitalize existing communities, and create great new places for residents and visitors.

To read the full report, visit: www.icma.org/ruralsmartgrowth. Hard copies of the report will be available later this summer. Stay posted to ICMA’s website for information on ordering hard copies of the report.

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