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.