Why Rural?

There is no doubt the suggestions for strategic spatial planning, reducing waste, improving livelihoods, building communities and others from Rural System could also be applied to urban environments. Many people ask why we’ve chosen to target the rural environment first. There are a number of intertwining and complex reasons behind this decision, but to put it simply:

  • Blue Ridge PkwyRural regions are plagued by single-industry employers, some relics of the industrial revolution and others long standing tradition. For example coal mining, logging, andconventional farming. The decline of these industries has left a resource of laborers ripe for employment in diverse businesses of the new enterprise environment.
  • Rural regions are a wealth of skilled tradesmen.
  • The existing infrastructure in urban regions makes revising land use and creating diverse activities difficult. In the rural environment there is no need to battle within those constraints because land is inherently less developed.
  • Living and business expenses are often lower in rural areas than in urban areas.
  • Rural regions, especially Appalachia, are often characterized by poverty, few opportunities, and poor health so the need for action is profound and the potential for improvements abundant.
  • Rural regions are an important natural and economic resource.

Without farms, we would have no food for urban environments. Without forests, we would have little habitat for wildlife. Our rural regions also counteract the pollution from our urban areas to balance clean air and clean water in our ecosystem. There is a great need to properly manage our rural areas to continue to provide support for a healthy nation for another 200 years.


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About Risa Pesapane

Risa is the Project Director for Rural System, Inc. and is an experienced research biologist and wildlife ecologist.

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