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Supporting Sustainable Rural Communities

End Notes

[1] U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Rural Population and Migration Briefing Room.

[2] International City/County Management Association. Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities.

[3] U.S. Department of Agriculture. Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2010-2015.

[4] U.S. Forest Service. About Us - Mission.

[5] U.S. Forest Service.

[6] U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. What We Do.

[7] U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. What We Do.

[8] International City/County Management Association. Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities.

[9] Smart growth is further described by the ten smart growth principles, developed by the Smart Growth Network based on the experiences of urban, suburban, and rural communities around the nation that have used smart growth approaches to create and maintain great neighborhoods. See the Smart Growth Network website for a discussion of these principles:

[10] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Clean Water State Revolving Fund Programs 2009 Annual Report.

[11] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: 2009 Annual Report.

[12] These implementation measures (unlike those in Goals 2, 3, and 4) focus not on outcomes on the ground, but rather the development and implementation of plans or policies that can shape those outcomes. At the community scale, they are measured nominally (e.g., whether a plan/policy is in place). They can also be adapted for national-scale program evaluation. One example of a national measure might be the percentage of grant-receiving communities that have created a regional economic development plan that is based on a clear understanding of comparative economic advantages and existing or emerging economic clusters.

[13] Sustaining long-term economic opportunity in rural communities sometimes means increasing the number of employers. Rural communities that rely upon a few major employers are less economically resilient when one of those employers chooses to reduce or close down operations. Therefore an economic development strategy might encourage increasing the percentage of jobs in small to medium-sized firms or locally owned firms that are more likely to have a long-term interest in the community.

[14] This measure could be adapted to evaluate either investments from a single state or federal program or a collection of different programs.

[15] The term "rural town center" can refer to historic Main Streets as well as newer developments in which a variety of jobs, housing, retail, and services are concentrated. One potential way to identify rural town centers is to use Census-designated urban area boundaries for towns or cities of between 2,500 (the minimum) and 49,999 in population. Additionally, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities working group on Performance Measurement is developing a national dataset to define the locations of activity centers in both urban and rural communities across the U.S.

[16] The range of services available in a rural community will depend on that community's population. For example, a community of 15,000 residents might be capable of supporting a full-service grocery store while a community of 1,000 residents might not be. Therefore, this indicator should be adjusted to reflect realistic expectations and local context.

[17] Demand-response service is a form of public transportation with small or medium-sized vehicles operating on flexible routes and schedules according to passenger needs. An example is Dial-a-Ride service.

[18] Note that this measure should be adapted as appropriate for the size of the community. Smaller rural communities may only offer demand-response service such as paratransit while larger rural communities may be able to support and benefit from fixed-route transit service along key corridors.

[19] See previous note.

[20] "Complete streets" are roadways designed and operated to enable safe and comfortable access and travel for all users.

[21] Note that this indicator alone is a poor measure of the success of programs seeking to promote walking and biking in rural communities. For example, a community where no residents walk or bike will have a low fatality rate. Nevertheless, in communities with limited data regarding bike and pedestrian activity, this measure may provide one useful perspective on progress towards improved walking and biking conditions.

[22] Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Leveraging the Partnership.

[23] U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Rural Atlas.

Updated: 10/20/2015
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