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 serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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