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The Future of Small Towns: Idea Generator
Categories : People : Economic opportunity : Human services : Telecommunications : Transportation : Social/cultural opportunities : Education : Government & policy : Other
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Do you have an idea about the future of small towns? Are the ideas you see not quite hitting the mark? Propose your own idea for the future of small towns!

The Basics

Rural areas are known for strong community and traditional values, but also for lacking social and cultural opportunities.


What the Experts Say

History as cultural opportunity
Many small towns are rich in historic buildings, culture and craftspeople, all of which can help create social and cultural opportunities for residents. [Source 1, Source 2]

Cultural magnets
New York Mills, Minnesota, is a good example of a small town that has reinvented itself as something of a cultural magnet. [Source 1]

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Ideas for: Social/cultural opportunities

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0 rating
(0 votes)
Create exchange programs with large cities
Let's arrange home swaps for short periods between urban and small town dwellers. This would give each a chance to see how the other half lives and perhaps break down stereotypes between these smug, ... Read more

From Paul Strebe of Minneapolis, MN on 06/09/05

0 comments | Vote/comment on this entry



4.5 rating
(2 votes)
Create an artists quarter on main street
Create a main street area that incorporates shops, work areas and living spaces for artists and promote cultural events for all seasons. Team up with local hotels and B&Bs and have tours and discount... Read more

From Bill Hipps of Minneapolis, MN on 06/08/05

2 comments | Vote/comment on this entry



4 rating
(9 votes)
Install a disc golf course in your underutilized local park
Watch as your once near empty park become utilized many times fold as youth, families, and adults enjoy disc golf once you have helped install a disc golf course.

It's an excellent option as it is... Read more

From Nicholas Snavely of Dayton, MN on 06/04/05

9 comments | Vote/comment on this entry



4 rating
(3 votes)
Preserve local culture
Develop plans to conserve open spaces, locally owned businesses, and offer local cultural activities to daytrippers from the cities.

For example, I have ancestors who settled Woodbury in the 1870's... Read more

From Paul Bramscher of Circle Pines, MN on 06/04/05

3 comments | Vote/comment on this entry



4.5 rating
(4 votes)
Collectively market small town assets
Small towns have many assets, but marketing and promotion knowhow isn't one of them.

We are working on ways to collectively market the assets of many individual communities and create a regional ... Read more

From Patrick Moore of Montevideo, MN on 05/25/05

4 comments | Vote/comment on this entry



3.5 rating
(3 votes)
Capture the stories of small town artists
We have such amazing talent in our area and so many tremendous stories. From the retired farmer who uses his part-time job watching the town dump to paint watercolors and write poetry to the carpente... Read more

From Brent Olson of Ortonville, MN on 05/24/05

3 comments | Vote/comment on this entry



4 rating
(1 vote)
Create a small town mythology
Every small town has a unique mix of history, geneaology, and personality found nowhere else in the world.

Create a mythology (we are a Swedish woodsy outpost, or an Irish/Norwegian river crossin... Read more

From Mark Anderson of Madelia, MN on 05/23/05

1 comment | Vote/comment on this entry



3 rating
(2 votes)
Create festivals/events for growth
Small towns should embrace a part of their community history or a community interest and elevate it to a festival or event. A local film/art festival, a celebration of the local heritage or a sportin... Read more

From Joel Carlson of Oakdale, MN on 05/20/05

2 comments | Vote/comment on this entry



0 rating
(0 votes)
Hold a stand still parade
We are leaving today for southeastern Minnesota, Whalan, Mn. to be exact, where we will be attending a stand still parade, the 10th anniversary. This began as a small town idea and CBS-Dan Rather fil... Read more

From Jean Gilbert of Arden Hills, MN on 05/20/05

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4.5 rating
(5 votes)
Support library services
Good library service serves the residents and governing bodies of small towns and rural areas in cost-effective, direct ways. Libraries and library service improve quality of life, provide support for... Read more

From Ruth Solie of Detroit Lakes, MN on 05/16/05

5 comments | Vote/comment on this entry



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Submit your own idea

Do you have an idea about the future of small towns? Are the ideas you see not quite hitting the mark? Propose your own idea for the future of small towns!

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