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Thread: Problems associated with rural communities...

  1. #1
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    Problems associated with rural communities...

    What are some problems associated with rural communities? All I can think of is that they sometimes have a hard time meeting end's meet with meeting economic stability. Usually I see hospitals, colleges, and large firms in towns and rural communities help a city be financially stable.

    Where as problems with suburban and urban communities tend to be population caused problems and sometimes also the money problem.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    I heard that 41 senators represent just 17% of the US population. I wonder if this is true.

    Population loss in the middle part of the Country:

    http://irjci.blogspot.com/2011/03/in...ensus-map.html
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    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One View post
    I heard that 41 senators represent just 17% of the US population. I wonder if this is true.

    Population loss in the middle part of the Country:

    http://irjci.blogspot.com/2011/03/in...ensus-map.html
    I have been staring at this map for a while now. Some really cool stuff. Chicago has actually lost population, wow. And, is there a single part of the U.S. where the hispanic population hasn't increased? I
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    What are some problems associated with rural communities? All I can think of is that they sometimes have a hard time meeting end's meet with meeting economic stability. Usually I see hospitals, colleges, and large firms in towns and rural communities help a city be financially stable.

    Where as problems with suburban and urban communities tend to be population caused problems and sometimes also the money problem.
    I would say that all planning problems are population caused. We aren't planning for water or land or air per se. We are planning for the issues caused by people and how they want to utilize finite natural resources, such as water, land and air. and economic resources, such as infrastructure. These issues also are limited by a paucity of money.

    In rural areas, we have a limited tax base, typically a smaller annual budget but our instrastructure and services are stretched thin.

    A landowner builds away from the population center and expects prompt police protection, quality emergency services and a volunteer fire department willing to go back into wildfire-prone land on substandard roads to save his home and family. We rural planners must make it clear to them that their expectations are unrealistic. The sheriff's deputy is coming, but maybe not for an hour. The volunteer fire department may refuse to go up that dangerous road because they and their equipment could get trapped in the wildfire - they are after all volunteers with families. They may be unwilling to risk their lives to protect property that cannot be saved.

    Rural planners deal a lot with substandard roads that may have dubious ownership. Are they public roads or private? These roads were likely built before planning laws and some really suck. And there is no money to fix or improve them and many of the landowners don't want to pay for their own road improvements and upgrades.

    Small town and rural planner often encounter people who are more hostile to gov'mint interference. The urban dweller is more accepting of zoning, building inspections, and review. Many of the people living away from big urban areas just want is to leave them the hell alone. Many of them moved to the small towns and rural areas for that reason.

    There are a myriad of problems associated with small town and rural planning. I have just scratched the surface here.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    One thing Iíve learned about rural communities is people tend to be much more adverse to change. When you think about it this is logical. Letís say two siblings grow up in a small town. One is adventurous and likes to have new experiences while the other likes constancy and stability in their life. When each is old enough to set down their own roots the adventurous child is much more likely to head for the nearest city while the less adventurous child is more likely to buy a home a few blocks from his or her parents. As a result villages and small towns tend to be populated by a higher percentage of people who will object to change, while cities tend to have higher percentage of people who welcome change. When working in small towns itís always important to recognize this distinction.

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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    What otterpop said. Consider Catron County, New Mexico - our largest and most sparsely populated county.

    Size: 6,929 sq m
    Population: 3,725 (down 1300 from 2000)
    Surface water: 1 sq m (.02 percent of land area)
    25 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

    Imagine trying to provide police or fire service in this county. Or infrastructure, or adjudication of property disputes, public schooling, etc.

    This will give you an idea of what their big planning issues are: http://www.catroncounty.net/
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I would also caution against generalizing too much about rural places, which can be every bit as different from each other as are suburbs of a major city. Some are losing population while others gain. Some are experienceing demographic shifts as new ethnic groups move in, others are not. Some are rich, some are not. Some have incredible tourism pressures while others hardly see any visitation. And so on.
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    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Here in southwestern NY, major problems in our rural communities include:
    • poverty -- Poverty is associated with big city slums in most people's minds, but poverty in many rural areas is far grimmer because of the lack of public transit, lack of jobs, lack of services as well as being largely invisible.
    • decline of dairy farming -- Dairy farming has been the backbone of WNY agriculture for a century and a half, but low milk prices have driven about a third of the dairy farmers in WNY out of business in the last decade. This has tremendous impact on businesses like implement suppliers, feed and grain stores, etc which translates into fewer jobs, which rural areas never have enough of.
    • aging population -- With fewer farmers and most of the small factories gone, most younger people move away, if only as far away as the small cities like Dunkirk, Olean, or Jamestown. Many of the elderly need services like doctors, physical therapy, transportation, etc that simply cannot be supported by the low and relatively poor population.
    • housing -- Housing in rural communities, especially rental housing, tends to be substandard. Even owner-occupied housing often isn't safe, especially with the prevalence of wood-burning stoves. Within 10 miles of my home town, there's probably at least one home lost because of a chimney fire every heating season.
    • water/sewer issues -- Most people living outside the cities and incorporated villages in the Southern Tier depend upon private well water and septic systems. These are costly to put in, and there's always the risk of contamination, especially in the small hamlets that don't have public water or sewer. A big safety issue in rural areas is water for fighting fires. Pumper trucks can only supply so much water, especially if they have to travel several miles to refill their tanks.

    Some of the issues I've listed are unique to WNY but some are applicable to rural communities in general. A lot of the amenities and services that people living in urban/suburban areas take for granted simply aren't available or are significantly limited in rural areas, especially police, fire, and emergency medical services. I think that there's also more of a laissez-faire attitude among people living in rural areas, so you have no recourse if your neighbors choose to "sight-in" their shotguns early on the Sunday morning before the opening day of deer season.

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    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    While driving the backroads between Gowanda and Jamestown, I was reminded of an old problem of rural areas that, unfortunately, continues in many rural towns where the populace venerates "freedom" to the extent that they not only allow private dumps (ie, residents dumping their garbage and trash over a bank), but that some residents still continue to practice this age old type of pollution.

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