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The New Ruralism Project

New Ruralism Project

The New Ruralism Project
An Initiative of the Northern New England Chapter and Small Town & Rural Planning Division

What Great Things are Small Towns and Rural Communities Doing in Your Area?

This is an exciting time in rural America. Many communities are finding ways to reinvent a more sustainable local economy and developing grass-roots-driven programs to meet residents’ basic everyday needs. With assistance from the APA Divisions Council, the Northern New England Chapter of the APA (NNECAPA) and the Small Town and Rural Planning Division (STaR) are teaming up to develop an on-line collection of case studies from around the country highlighting ingredients that have made for successful innovation in rural communities, and describe that information in a format that can easily be shared with planners and communities around the country. The NNECAPA-STaR New Ruralism Project seeks to tease out successful planning strategies supporting and fostering community strength which promote elements of sustainability.

To get the project started, with funding from APA Chapter Presidents Council, the Northern New England Chapter of the APA has compiled a set of case studies from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. These are on-line at https://nnecapa.org/resources/newruralism/. (Our transition from nnecapa.org to nne.planning.org is in process.) The pilot project covered local initiatives focusing on a wide range of topics such as local food, providing for the needs of children and seniors, energy conservation, the working landscape, resiliency and jobs. 

The next step is to expand the on-line library to include examples from other regions of the country, and cover some additional topics, such as transportation and health care.

If you have experience with rural initiatives that you would like to share with other communities facing similar needs and challenges, please send a brief description to Tara Bamford, Project Manager. You will be contacted for more information, and if your suggestion is chosen for our next round of case studies, you will be asked to participate in a short phone interview and to provide some graphics and contact information. We promise to make it as easy as possible!

As the New Ruralism Initiative unfolds, we will be sharing back our case studies with APA members to cross-pollinate the ingredients of successful rural innovation. Please help us ensure we are hearing everyone’s stories. 

If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to reach out to me, Jenny Whittaker, at whjenn@upenn.edu.

New Ruralism Project