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Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 930;

What Can Rural Communities Do to Be Sustained?

Center for Sustainable Business and Development, the University of Tennessee, 311 Conference Center Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-4134, USA
Received: 17 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 September 2016 / Published: 12 September 2016
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Since the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) was founded in 1965, various reports have been presented to summarize the progress in terms of economic development, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats among studied communities in the Appalachian region. The purposes of this study were to investigate (1) the condition and usage of facilities and services in the studied communities; (2) what factors contribute to local growth in improving areas; and (3) what barriers deter growth in the studied communities based on the perceptions of study participants. Ten studied counties were categorized based on their topography, demographics, and economics. Each sub-region has two selected counties (non-distressed and distressed) to represent and compare their similar topography and various stages of demographic opportunities and economic development and challenges. Location is recognized as one of the significant factors that affect communities’ development. Counties perform better when they are adjacent to urban areas, own major transportation corridors, and have more supplies of natural resources than those located in more rural areas with fewer resources. This study noted the need to improve communication infrastructure (such as Internet access, broadband, and mobile communications) that impact local development opportunities and public safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: Appalachian Regional Commission; non-distressed and distressed Appalachian Regional Commission; non-distressed and distressed
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Chen, R.J.C. What Can Rural Communities Do to Be Sustained? Sustainability 2016, 8, 930.

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