Strengthening the ability of the land grant university system to execute its rural development mission

Establishing a Knowledge and Organizational Infrastructure for Rural Design

PI: Kinney, T. (Univ. of Minnesota)  (Formerly Streng, S. (Univ. of Minnesota)

Co-PIs: Thorbeck, D. (Univ. of Minnesota), Borich, T. (Iowa State Univ.)

Award: $10,000

Project Abstract

Design is a potent tool to help rural communities address existing problems and a powerful aid to help communities prepare for the new economic and social challenges presented by climate change. However, the design and planning fields have historically ignored rural communities. In January 2010, researchers, practitioners, and extension professionals from the Midwest attended the First International Symposium on Rural Design to create a new field to address the challenges above: rural design.
Attendees identified that an organizational infrastructure is needed to nurture this new field and its potential to improve rural quality of life. The PIs propose creating a web-based social networking site to continue the symposium’s success in constructing rural design’s foundation. The proposed web site will facilitate continuing discussion among attendees, the sharing of resources and research, and collaboration on major grant proposals.