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Rural Sustainable Development in America

  • ID: 2215182
  • Book
  • Region: United States
  • 448 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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A wide–ranging exploration of the issues shaping development in rural North America for the years ahead

This unique volume presents guidelines for dealing with the problems of development in rural areas, with coverage that encompasses theory, strategic planning and policy implementation, and practical experience. It contains an in–depth examination of the problems faced by rural American towns, communities, and families, and it explores a range of innovative solutions based on the concepts of sustainable use of indigenous talents and resources.

Contributions by leading experts and seasoned practitioners represent a broad spectrum of experience and ideological outlook, making Rural Sustainable Development in America must reading for anyone involved in community development; rural geography, planning, and economic development; public administration; agricultural economics; and public policy. The book covers:

  • Historical, philosophical, and ecological foundations of sustainable development in the rural context.
  • Principles of a rural sustainable future in which development policies embrace holistic and interactive views of ethics, ecology, economics, and sociopolitical systems.
  • Different approaches to policy and planning strategy at the regional and local level.
  • The role of citizen involvement and empowerment in choosing and effecting change in community life.
  • Real–world experiences with alternative rural–urban symbioses in agriculture, waste management, greenways, and trails.
  • Analysis of specific community–based efforts at regional revitalization in Indiana, Central Appalachia, and Eastern Canada.

The development of an energy and technology intensive, global agricultural production system over the last few decades has had a devastating impact on traditional rural communities from the decline of family farms to the virtual depopulation of small towns on a wide scale. But across this bleak landscape, many communities are planning and taking action to assure their development in sustainable ways.

What are the visions, assumptions, and practical considerations guiding these efforts? How can communities address the obstacles they face in designing and implementing policies that will foster and support regeneration?

Providing invaluable insight into these questions, Rural Sustainable Development in America offers a multidimensional look at theory, strategic planning, and real–world experience that provides planners and others with important tools to use in cultivating a sustainable future for rural America.

Contributions by leading experts from a range of disciplines first explore the philosophical and ecological underpinnings of sustainable development within a global and local context. The second part of the book examines regional and local planning and policy issues, and the final section assesses the success or failure of alternative rural–urban symbioses in agriculture, waste management, greenways and trails, and regional revitalization.

Encompassing several shades of "greenness," this thought–provoking volume truly reflects the diversity of views and approaches that are driving the theory and practice of rural development into the twenty–first century. It is a vital addition to the literature that will inform readers of every ideological orientation and professional perspective in such areas as rural geography, planning, policy, and economic development; agricultural economics; landscape architecture; and public administration.

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Partial table of contents:


Rural Sustainable Development: A Postmodern Alternative (I. Audirac).

Sustainable Community Development: A Systems Approach (D. Chiras & J. Herman).


Still Life on the Plains: Strategies for Sustainable Communities (J. Luther).

Community–Based Workshops: Building a Partnership for Community Vitality (J. Segedy).


Greenways, Trails, and Rural Sustainability (E. Starnes, et al.).

Economic Analysis of Leaf Management Alternatives for Local Government (D. Derr & P. Dhillon).

About the Authors.

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Ivonne Audirac
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