For decades now, small-town America has been getting smaller. Populations of rural towns have been declining since the 1970s, with residents moving to cities and suburbs.
Those who didn’t move away started driving to bigger towns for shopping and entertainment—leaving Main Streets across rural America looking like ghost towns.
But there have been indications lately that folks are ready to come back to rural towns. A movement among community advocates known as “placemaking” is working to attract these potential new residents by taking a holistic look at rural communities’ unique characteristics.
In the latest episode of Along Those Lines, “Waging a Comeback for Small-Town America,” our host, RE Magazine Editor Scot Hoffman, talks to a few key voices about community development and the role co-ops can play in revitalizing small towns:
- Jeffrey Connor, COO of America’s Electric Cooperatives
- Zack Mannheimer, “creative placemaking” advocate
- Norm Fandel, business development vice president for Midland Power Cooperative in Jefferson, Iowa.
Click here to listen to the full episode.