Online Resource: Planning for Prosperity in Small Towns and Rural Regions

new_bannerThe NADO Research Foundation has developed a new website Planning for Prosperity in Small Towns and Rural Regions that contains materials developed over the past four years by NADO and its partners through the HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative capacity building program.  On the website, you’ll find links to publications, webinars, workshop materials, and other information on a variety of topics and themes including economic resilience, entrepreneurship, community engagement, downtown redevelopment, food systems, and many other areas.  While designed initially to assist the SCI grantee communities, these materials should be helpful to planners, economic developers, elected officials, and local residents working to improve and strengthen their small towns and rural regions.  

Through the capacity building program, the NADO Research Foundation worked primarily with grantees hailing from rural regions and smaller towns by designing in-person workshops and peer exchanges, organizing webinars and conference calls, publishing case studies and best practices, and providing one-on-one technical assistance to support their work.  These efforts have forged networks and connections among grantees who are pursuing asset-based community and economic development strategies to set a course for a strong, prosperous future.  The Sustainable Communities Initiative created the space for grantees from rural and smaller places to:

  • Think, act, and plan like a region
  • Leverage plans and funding opportunities 
  • Develop creative public engagement strategies
  • Start a conversation on equity and inclusiveness
  • Prepare for future challenges and tap into local assets                                    

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For more information about the NADO Research Foundation’s capacity building services, please contact Program Manager Brett Schwartz at [email protected].

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials do not necessarily reflect the views of HUD or the US Government.  

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Joe McKinney has served as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations since 2012. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Land of Sky Regional Council in Asheville, North Carolina from 2003 to 2012. Under his leadership, Land of Sky became recognized nationally for its innovation in program areas including planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, aging services, volunteer services, and geographic information systems. Joe has also held various other roles in city, county, association, and government management. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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