The Carey Institute for Global Good’s Sustainable Communities Program and the Town of Rensselaerville have been awarded a grant from the Hudson River Valley Greenway Community Grants Program. “Country to Capital: A Needs Assessment for Rural-Urban Linkages in Albany County” will identify needs and opportunities for improved connections between Albany County’s rural Hilltown communities and surrounding urban areas, tools needed to establish or strengthen those connections; and, to assess gaps in knowledge and understanding. Project stakeholders will include a broad group of community representatives from both rural and urban areas, including elected officials, small-business owners, nonprofit and community leaders, as well as institutional and civic organizations.
The partnership between Hudson River Valley Greenway and the Institute’s Sustainable Communities Program is a natural one, as both share a vision of environmentally sustainable economic development that leverages proximity to an urban center while preserving local natural and cultural resources. The term “rural-urban linkages” refers to the connections between rural and urban areas such as flows of people, goods, money and information. It also includes connections between rural and urban sectors such as agriculture, services and manufacturing.
Albany County boasts a diverse landscape; it is the seat of New York’s capital city while nearly 50 percent of its land base is rural. Despite these differences, the county’s communities are connected in many ways, such as through drinking water, farmers’ markets and shared public services. A growing body of research suggests that rather than treating rural and urban areas as distinct and separate, the connections between them should be taken into consideration. This offers a more inclusive approach to development, as has been recognized within the international development arena.
The findings of the needs assessment will be compiled and published, along with background research, survey results and next steps. For more information, or to receive a copy of the published findings, please contact Sustainable Communities program manager, Rebecca Platel, firstname.lastname@example.org.