Rural Redevelopment: A Tale of Two Canadian Villages

by Joanne Steele on May 3, 2010

I’m taking a little break from writing today.

Instead, I’d like to refer you to a short series of posts on the Rurban Fringe.

Peter MacGibbon, Project Director at 3ci  – Carleton Centre for Community Innovation talks about two approaches to rural redevelopment. One is humming along very successfully, the other seems to be tearing the small town apart.

With buckets of stimulus money available in the United States for redevelopment projects, there is much to be learned from this series about implementing an effective redevelopment approach.

I won’t interject my bias. I’d like to hear your thoughts after reading the posts. With readers from all over the world, it would be instructive to all of us to hear what is happening in other areas.

As an introduction,  Exploring Rural Development, A Tale of Two Communities, Part I describes the two communities in some detail.

Both these villages are close to an urban center.  Don’t let that detail stop you from reading further if you are in an area far removed from a big city.

The lesson begins in Part 2.

These two posts speak well to the questions,

1. Who should initiate a rural development project?

2. Who should be in charge?

3. Who should benefit?

Is your town involved in a redevelopment project? How is it going?

1 Peter MacGibbon May 8, 2010 at 8:26 am

Hi Joanne,

I like your three questions:
1. Who should initiate a rural development project?
2. Who should be in charge?
3. Who should benefit?
So simple, yet if answered with full consideration, so essential, starting with the initiation question. Many people in Chelsea feel a suburbanizing agenda has been pushed onto them, and simply don’t see why it’s necessary. In their minds, no one asked for it, so where did it come from? Conversely, there seems to have been a widespread assumption amongst the pro-development crowd that this was the “natural” order of things, so might as well make a buck out of it. Very old school thinking!



2 Jennifer Brooks May 5, 2010 at 10:32 am

Thanks for the link … it’s a timely and global topic, to be sure! In my opinion, if the point of an initiative is to be at the community level, then the community must have access to supportive susytems that make it possible for things to happen.


3 Joanne Steele May 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Excellent point, Jennifer. But as your guest post points out, locating resources for a project that a rural community is strongly behind may be easier that getting something off the ground that has resources, but lacks local support.

Previous post:

Next post: