I remain unshakably convinced that beauty and brilliance can come from places that other people consider poor, or marginalised, or in need of paving-over.
It turns out that a great deal about how we see regional development depends on where we start.
When I started the Spring Series reflecting on regional growth, I did not anticipate how quickly growth would appear on the horizon.
Do regions need to grow, in order to survive and thrive? Is growth part of the solution, or part of the problem?
Economic growth can make entire regions more prosperous, or it can widen the gap between haves and have-nots, growing only inequity and disadvantage.
For rural regions, population growth is often presented as a solution to regional problems – even, as a synonym for regional development. Yet this is not necessarily the case.
When we talk about economic growth, we may not be talking about the same thing. Nor is economic growth the only kind of growth that matters for rural regions.
Growth is out there, it is powerful, and it influences how almost everyone thinks about regional development in rural regions – whether they realise it or not.
It’s time to gather up some practical takeaways you can use when working in and with rural communities.
Poverty persists when the space for change is taken away.