Resource: Report on rural clusters

Monday, April 16, 2007

Building rural clusters -- a strategy that requires regional perspectives and practices -- holds the promise of building prosperity in rural communities.

An important report, "Unlocking Rural Competitiveness: The Role of Regional Clusters", provides new tools and insights into how rural communities can build their economies. By studying this report rural EDPros can gain new insights into how their economies can transform.

The Purdue Center for Regional Development, where I now hang my hat, collaborated with the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University on the project.

Particularly important, this report pulls off the cover from cluster analysis. In the past, consultants developed their own largely proprietary definitions of clusters. This report outlines the analysis (including, for example, cluster definitions) and introduces some new tools for rural regions to understand their economies.

For example, the study team developed the Index of Relative Rurality, a numerical value calculated for each of the nation's 3,108 counties. This index shows where each county falls on a rural-urban continuum and helps to identify locations where rural and metro areas connect.

You can download the report and gain access to other important aspects of project on this web site. Look especially at the map section here.

posted by Ed Morrison |

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