Small Towns Big Ideas

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The Small Towns, Big Ideas project began in mid-2006, when the UNC School of Government partnered with the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center to identify and document fifty small towns that were implementing successful or innovative approaches to community economic development.

This searchable database includes case studies about planning and implementing economic development strategies in small towns with populations of fewer than 10,000 residents. This collection of case studies is a response to the demand from civic leaders in North Carolina for real stories, from real places that are confronting real challenges similar to those facing small communities everywhere.

Stories are told in a narrative format and are intended to provide concrete ideas, inspiration and hope to civic leaders working in small communities and to policy makers dealing with rural development issues.

Faculty Coordinators

individual image for C. Tyler Mulligan
David M. Lawrence Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government; Lead Faculty, Development Finance Initiative
individual image for Jonathan Q. Morgan
Professor of Public Administration and Government
individual image for Christy Raulli
Associate Director, Development Finance Initiative
Public Officials - Local and State Government Roles