Some of my favorite organizations have formed a new CommunityMatters partnership dedicated to the idea that people have the power to shape and strengthen their communities; CommunityMatters plans to provide some tools to help do it. Strong Towns, Project for Public Spaces plus 4 other partners and supported by the Orton Foundation form the partnership. One of the first projects is the Citizens’ Institute for Rural Design which brings together the CM partners plus the USDA and NEA to convene workshops intended to help rural communities enhance economic vitality and quality of life. Bill Roper of the Orton Family Foundation said:
Over recent decades too many small towns have gone from the unique to the uniform, subject to cookie-cutter design and development. But people have the power to weave a new community narrative for the future, one that enhances their town’s unique heart and soul. This uniqueness is core to small towns’ lasting economic success built on local assets. We are excited to bring all the knowledge, skills and resources of this partnership to aid America’s rural communities and help them thrive.
Sounds a lot like recent economic development conversations in Northfield highlighting local assets and unique features – I’m looking forward to learning more.