There's probably one rural development question that gets people the most riled up where you live. That's the one we want you to ask here.
To be more serious, we're not in the business of stirring up contention where there is none. But our experience is that the rural communities sometimes avoid talking about the elephant in the room, and when someone finally mentions the obvious, it's like uncorking a really powerful bubbly libation.
Everyone wants to chime in with his or her own anecdote about a personal experience or a friend's relative's experience.
It's an intriguing rural tendency to be conformists when it comes to public policy and to be very libertarian when it comes to their personal life. We'd like to help communities facing serious dangers, from natural hazards to economic irrelevance, come to grips with those problems.
Below is a form that you can complete to submit a rural development question. We answer on the site, if we have an answer for you. At that point, you can comment back, and our other visitors can take issue with the way we answered also.
We're hoping this leads to some lively debate about a few topics. Whether in the U.S., Europe, Asia, or elsewhere in the Americas, many rural areas are struggling in the wake of nation-wide or regional recessions. Since cities exist largely because of being able to take advantage of their geography or of technical innovation at some point in the past, they have an inherent advantage over rural areas as economic recovery takes hold. This has proven true in the U.S., where rural areas still lag urban economic recovery from this latest recession in terms of job availability and income progression.
All over the world, urbanization is a dominant process. With fewer people all demanding a higher standard of living in rural areas, the talent pool is becoming diluted just at the time when futuristic thinking is needed.
So what's that rural development question that would cause a very long conversation to break out over a potluck among friends? How do you get to a critical mass that can support a healthy range of goods and services you want? Reaching critical mass on a variety of indicators is so important to community development and revitalization everywhere regardless of population, and of course it is a frequent problem in the countryside.
Would you like to ask the other visitors and/or the editors a question? Here is an opportunity to ask any general question or describe a specific situation. If published, the editors will answer and other visitors will be able to answer and comment as well.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors, and answers.
Small southeastern rural town future
I'd like to know your views on small rural towns (pop. 2500 or less) futures, in re-identifying themselves and developing a sustainable economy based historical …
Abandoned Homes in a Village Not rated yet
In our tiny Village we have so many homes that have been abandoned. There are no jobs available in our area and the few jobs that there are pay such low …
Promoting Community for Retirement Not rated yet
Our tiny Village in west New York state has much to offer. However the employment opportunities are not available. What we do have to offer are very …
Fear for the future of our small rural village Not rated yet
What is a sustainable future for a small village of 3,500 that is primarily estate lots, agricultural land and forest and located just 15 minutes from …
Multiple undeveloped rural parcels in agriculture area, ag economy is CAFO Not rated yet
There are multiple parcels in the county (various sizes, 1-10 acres) platted in early 1980's. Since then, mega dairies have been built in the same zone …