Reimagining Rural Regions (R3) Initiative
Across Ohio and the United States, the economic, cultural, and technological divide between larger cities and communities and rural small towns has never been greater. As rural communities look to bridge the gap between themselves and larger communities, it is important to understand that today’s workers, and in particular young, high-skilled workers, are making decisions on where they will live not based solely where there are employment opportunities, but also on the amenities, assets, and experiences available in communities where they feel they can lead interesting, meaningful lives.
Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, new economic trends such as the decoupling of work and place, including the increase in remote work arrangements provide opportunities to increase the economic resiliency and quality of life of residents while attracting new talent and companies in rural communities across the region. As a public university for the public good, Bowling Green State University (BGSU)’s Division of Research and Economic Engagement and the Center for Regional Development (CRD) developed the Reimagining Rural Regions, or R3, Initiative to provide expertise and capacity to assist communities to undertake a placemaking process to identify assets that could be reimagined in an effort to improve quality of life and to aid in the retention and attraction of talent.