Community development in rural America: collaborative, regional, and comprehensive
Duncan’s focus is on rural community development, which she says must be seen more broadly as economic development. Rural poverty is different in different places—Duncan notes the persistent poverty of Appalachia and parts of the South, the new poverty of depopulation on the Great Plains, and the less visible but still significant poverty in those parts of rural America that are finding new economic strength. But combating rural poverty is hindered by themes that are consistent across all three types of places: distance, lack of human capital, lack of corporate capital, lack of infrastructure (including tech and communications infrastructure), yearning for the "good old days," and the need for regional thinking and urban-rural connectivity. Duncan sees opportunity for rural America in creation and distribution of energy, provision of "ecosystem services" such as carbon sequestration and watershed protection, eco and cultural tourism, local fresh food and telecommuting.
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