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Regional Economic Development

The Community & Regional Development Institute (CaRDI) at Cornell University has responded to current and emerging challenges and opportunities in community and economic development in New York State for two decades. New Yorkers are living through a period of remarkable change. Among challenges faced are the restructuring of traditional economic bases, increasing local government costs and demands for services, a global recession, land use changes, and pressures to develop new energy resources in the face of climate change. At the same time, new domestic and global markets are emerging, green technologies represent a growing employment sector, land use planning innovations are taking hold, the local agricultural sector is growing, environmental interests and concerns are influencing policy directions more generally, and communication technologies are bringing people together in new ways.  Many challenges and opportunities facing communities, rural, suburban, and urban, around New York State increasingly take place at a regional level.  Through regional partnerships the goals are resiliency, innovative strategies and networked sustainable communities.

CaRDI’s work is framed by the conviction that community and economic development are mutually interrelated at the local and regional levels. Housed in the Department of Development Sociology, CaRDI’s programs of applied research and outreach are motivated by a concern for understanding the determinants and consequences of societal development, and a desire to produce knowledge and educational programs that contribute to the alleviation of social problems, both locally and in other regions of the United States.

Below are links to key regional initiatives that we have coordinated: