New Ruralism Update: The Rural America Placemaking Toolkit

Remember the "New Ruralism Initiative", NNECAPA's project that was also funded by the Chapter President's Council and the Small Town and Rural Division of APA for much of the previous decade? If it's new to you, please see our webpage for background and the case studies:

The New Ruralism (NR) "team" has been pretty quiet since the release of its 2020 "Lessons in New Ruralism" report. But recently, we came across a reference to our project in a rural planning resource, the Rural America Placemaking Toolkit, on the home page of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of the University of Kentucky (CEDIK). Check out the toolkit link - there's a host of resources for planners and communities to put to use!

Although better funded and staffed, via the University, than NNECAPA's project, their initiative has followed a similar path of seeking and describing successful case studies around the country, of unique and creative rural planning efforts. These projects, like those we sought out in New Ruralism, are generally driven by local volunteers, leading fundraising and exploring unique approaches.

After a CEDIK and NR team group conversation in December, we all agreed our work has much in common, and would benefit from building on our shared efforts to support rural planning.  As a start, we each agreed to post links on our webpage to each others' initiatives, which vastly broadens the examples we can learn from. While those additions to NNECAPA's website are in progress, the folks at the University of Kentucky have added our link on the background to their Rural Placemaking Guide. Check out the CEDIK website at:

And to further build our connection with each other's work, we've been invited to propose a session for their annual Rural Placemaking gathering in late spring. 

Co-authored by:

Lynne Seeley

Lynne Seeley is a Community Planning Consultant based in Yarmouth. She serves as Communications Editor for MAP and is a member of the GrowSmart Maine board. 

Co-authored by:

Peg Elmer Hough

Peg Elmer Hough is a retired NNECAPA Emeritus Planner, living in Cabot, VT and Terceira, Azores. She worked for more than 40 years in land use policy in New England at local, regional and state levels and, finally, teaching at VT Law School and as a consultant.