ELGL19 Keynote: The Rural Shrink Smart Project

Posted on January 25, 2019

Kimberly Zarecor

Keynote: The Rural Shrink Smart Project

A team at Iowa State University is examining the relationship between population loss and quality of life in small and shrinking rural communities. Global economic and social trends predict that the number of people living in small towns and rural areas will continue to shrink. Policy makers have to decide how to manage these communities, which are often described as in decline and without many options for economic growth. The Rural Shrink Smart Project takes an in-depth look at a group of towns in Iowa to understand why some small communities continue to see stable and improving metrics on quality of life even as they shrink. This keynote session will present new findings, based on qualitative and quantitative data analysis, about people’s perceptions of life in small places and what local governments can do to stabilize and improve quality of life in their communities by adopting shrink smart strategies.


Kimberly Zarecor

Kimberly Zarecor
Associate Professor
Iowa State University

Study Up for the Session:

Rural Shrink Smart Project Website

Journal of Rural Studies – Using entrepreneurial social infrastructure to understand smart shrinkage in small towns

As Rural Towns Lose Population, They Can Learn To ‘Shrink Smart’

Podcast: The Shrink Smart Project – Managing Population Loss in Rural Communities

How Some Small Towns Are Achieving ‘Brain Gain’

Tri-State and “The Shrink Smart Project”

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