SGA is partnering with T-Mobile to assist rural communities

In a unique partnership focused on bringing vital connections to rural America, Smart Growth America is helping T-Mobile give one small community a prize package worth $3 million as well as millions in smaller grants for hundreds of other rural and small town communities to reinvest in their downtowns, improve their quality of life, become … Continued

Rural Development Technical assistance

Erwin, TN: Evolving from railroads to fiber optic cables


Many rural communities in America have been struggling as the economy has changed dramatically over the last few decades, but some of these communities are evolving and finding new ways to adapt. This is a story of how one small mountain town in northeast Tennessee has found new economic opportunity by investing in reliable, high-speed broadband internet to catalyze new growth and development focused in their walkable, historic downtown.

Economic development Rural Development Technical assistance Uncategorized

Implementing Complete Streets in small towns and rural communities

(Image courtesy of Alta Planning + Design)

Successful implementation of Complete Streets requires much more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Rural and small towns often face distinct challenges from urban areas when it comes to improving the conditions for people walking and bicycling. The National Complete Streets Coalition recently spoke with Andrea Clinkscales, Senior Planner at Alta, to learn about some of the obstacles smaller communities may face, along with potential solutions to implementing Complete Streets.

Complete Streets Rural Development

New Resource: USDA Releases Guide to Federal Programs for Rural Communities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities; a guide to programs available to help rural areas promote economic development and enhance quality of life.

The publication, a joint effort of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities,

Compiles all of the federal resources that can support rural communities in their efforts to promote economic competitiveness, protect healthy environments, modernize infrastructure, and provide services to residents. The guide has key information on funding and technical assistance opportunities available from the four agencies, as well as examples of how rural communities across the country have benefitted from federal resources.

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Funding Opportunity: Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge

Four federal agencies are offering $15 million in funding to spur economic growth in rural areas. The approximately 20 regions to receive funding will also be eligible for technical assistance resources from an additional nine agencies. From the U.S. Department of Agriculture announcement:

Funds awarded to the winning applicants can be used to support and accelerate a range of projects including improving rural communities’ capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or economic and community development along with creation of regional linkages that connect communities with innovation clusters and regional opportunities leading to job creation, expanded markets, and economic growth.

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Report: Supporting Sustainable Rural Communities

Rural communities and small towns across the U.S. are interested in making smarter investments for their economic recovery. Communities have unequivocally shown that smart practices in housing, infrastructure and transportation will save local, state and federal government significant sums. Small businesses and family farms benefit from strategic local investments too, because smarter short-term decisions mean a stronger regional economy for the future.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities – a collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Transportation – works to help communities achieve these goals. The Partnership along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a new report on how the agencies are collaborating to support rural communities.

“Supporting Sustainable Rural Communities” (PDF) highlights how rural communities and small towns are using resources from these federal agencies to strengthen their economies, provide better quality of life to residents, and build on local assets such as traditional main streets, agricultural lands, and natural resources.

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