Why do small towns matter? 5 good reasons

People still ask me why small towns matter and whether rural areas have any future at all. The way I see it, we need small towns and hometowns for at least five reasons. 

1) Agriculture and food production almost all happens in the rural places, and small towns are essential to the production, transportation and often the processing of our food. Even as urban and vertical agriculture are being tested, we’ll still want to have ethical and responsible choices for more natural agriculture and that will be centered around small towns. 

2) Energy and natural resources all come from outside our urban areas. From clean water and air, to wind and solar power, to mining and timber, so much of what we need to make our society possible comes from rural places.

3) Conservation and recreation of wildlife and our natural environment happens in rural areas. We all want wild places to enjoy, to nourish our health and mind. To do that, we need small towns and hometowns to provide the support services and to protect those places.

4) Small towns grow strong people. Countless leaders and people who have changed the world for the better in all fields have credited their small town upbringing for their character and strength. Studies show rural kids have better motor skills and stronger immune systems. We are resourceful. We have a strong sense of community. We survive when things get tough. We’re resilient. Rural places grow strong people.

5) Small towns and rural places are perfect for experimenting with new technology, learning how to implement and regulate it, long before it’s practical to use in crowded cities. Urban experts have said we’ll never have drone deliveries because the skies above cities are too crowded. Rural areas doing drone deliveries right now, including mail, medicines and supplies. Driverless cars are facing growing pains in city testing, tying up traffic and worse. Rural areas have been using autonomous vehicles in mining and farming for years now. Small towns are the perfect testing grounds for the future.

Knowing that at least some small towns have a future, what are you doing to make sure your town is one of them?

Keep shaping the future of your town,

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