Experts bring their technical knowledge to rural regions, and they use this knowledge to frame regional development needs and actions. Too often, they fail to notice anything outside the frame.
Economic growth can make entire regions more prosperous, or it can widen the gap between haves and have-nots, growing only inequity and disadvantage.
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.
It’s time to gather up some practical takeaways you can use when working in and with rural communities.
Development is a big shiny, powerful idea. It’s also a conveniently vague idea, so it can work for you whether you are interested in feeding starving children or building high-rise buildings.
Rural development has a long tradition of attention to practical action.
While rural regions are all different, they also share some common characteristics. Naming these up, noticing the patterns, can help us to understand the dynamics of rural economies.
“Rural” is one of those words that can be used in lots of ways.