Rural Economic Developers

Mountain, ND

The Project at Mountain, ND.

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Economic Developer 101

Ideas, process & procedures for rural developers.


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Articles & projects by and for rural developers.


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Your community isn’t Anywhere, USA. It has stories to tell—tales of historic moments, epic failures, innovative products, resilient businesses and colorful people. How can your community take its most distinct stories and turn them into a compelling and unified message?
Urban, not rural, places are usually thought of as hubs of creativity and innovation, but this CommunityMatters® and Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ webinar turns that notion on its head.
Brain drain—the loss of 18-29 year olds—dominates the conversation about rural population change. Yet at the same time, a lesser known migration is occurring. A majority of rural counties are, in fact, experiencing “brain gains” as newcomers age 30-49 move in.
Real and perceived differences can divide rural and urban communities. Divisions rooted in competing political priorities, divergent cultural norms, and disparate socio-economic conditions often prevent conversations about shared interests.



Gathering the Community


Setting Goals


Committing to the Plan

Hazen, ND

Hazen, North Dakota is a community committed to the arts and beautifying their city. In 2002, the Hazen Chamber of Commerce proposed a city park be built on an empty commercial lot downtown as a beautification project.

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