On July 24, the NADO Research Foundation hosted the webinar, “Strengthening Rural-Urban Connections to Support Competitive Regions.” Though geography, politics, and demographics often result in “rural” and “urban” communities being thought of as distinct and unrelated places, current economic and social realities reveal that an effective framework for understanding urban and rural is through a prism of interdependence and linkages. Economic and workforce development, food production and distribution, energy, transportation, recreation, and other sectors demonstrate that regionalism can strengthen outcomes for residents and businesses in both cities and small towns.
Brian Dabson of the University of Missouri has written: “No bright lines separate the two types of areas, either geographically or economically. If metropolitan America is to drive national prosperity, metropolitan areas will need a healthy and sustainable rural economy and culture. Likewise, if rural America is to flourish, it will surely depend upon vibrant, well-functioning cities and suburbs.”
During the webinar, Brian Dabson provided both a theoretical and practical approach to rural-urban connections. His remarks were followed by examples of on-the-ground efforts underway in the Wichita, Kansas and Austin, Texas regions.
- Brian Dabson, Associate Dean and Research Professor, Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs and Director of the Institute of Public Policy at the University of Missouri
- Paula Downs, Project Director, South Central Kansas Prosperity Plan (Wichita, KS)
- Chad Coburn, Manager, Prosperous Places Program, Capital Area Council of Governments (Austin, TX)
- Brett Schwartz, Program Manager, NADO Research Foundation
This webinar is supported through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Questions? E-mail Brett Schwartz at [email protected].