The Future of Small Towns in a Sprawling Global Community:
may not live in a small town, but chances are that some of your
relatives, colleagues, and clients do. Sadly, most small towns are
facing harder economic conditions than their urban counterparts. Many of
these places are turning into ghost towns as the one or two major
employers are going out of business.
But what if your
town is in the opposite situation and your dilemma is growth oriented?
Believe it or not, there are several small towns attracting urban
commuters looking for a quaint and charming place to rest their heads
and raise their families. These small towns are facing an influx of
people that by default will eventually want to expand development and
conveniences in the area. Despite the fact that many moved there to get
away from the proverbial "noise," we are creatures of habit, and old
habits...well, you get the idea.
As a result, many
small town residents are concerned that what once made their towns so
attractive is fading in the shadow of progress. For many towns this will
be the case, but for others, I offer a few thoughts on how to maintain
and capitalize on the greatness and attractiveness of your community.
What makes small
towns so appealing is the community rather than the size of the town.
Small towns, like their larger counterparts seek economic growth, but on
their own terms. The key to maintaining small town integrity is to look
for new ways that community bond and charm can evolve amidst a growing
important to remember that communities are ecosystems. They will grow
and shrink as the environment changes and although some may see the
influx of residents who commute to the "big city" as an "invasive
species," the key to long-term success in any town is the diversity and
co-dependence of its residents.
These towns have
to find creative ways to adapt to changes, because at the end of the
day, change is inevitable. It's far better to seize the opportunity for
growth and play an active role in its direction than to face the
possibility of decline for the sake of nostalgia.