Rural New York State has been transformed by far-reaching national and global economic forces; the understandings and policies of the past no longer provide ready solutions for a world defined by change. A clear vision is essential for responding to and guiding change and development in rural New York. To help clarify and articulate that vision, Cornell University’s Rural New York Initiative (in the Department of Development Sociology), Community and Regional Development Institute, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the NYS Legislative Commission on Rural Resources launched the NYS Rural Vision Project. The first phase of this collaborative effort centered on eleven regional listening sessions held in rural areas around the state, culminating in a symposium in Syracuse, NY in July of 2006. Specific opportunities and emerging concerns were identified in ten key policy areas, and priorities were then identified for future research, legislative and programmatic action.
This report is a comprehensive documentation of the Rural Vision Project information gathering methods and findings during the first six months of the project which centered on eleven regional Listening Sessions. Eleven broad policy and/or thematic areas were discussed: Agriculture & Food Systems, Community Capacity & Social Networks, Energy, Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources, Housing & Transportation, Local & Regional Governance, Poverty, Rural Economic Development, Rural Health Care, Rural Schools & Youth, and Workforce Development. The sessions produced a remarkable—and surprisingly cohesive—picture of rural New Yorker’s desired future. Read the Phase I Report
On July 19-21 2006, over 190 people from across New York State gathered in Syracuse for the Future of Rural New York Symposium, an event organized by Cornell University and the NYS Legislative Commission on Rural Resources. The event attracted state legislators, state agency representatives, local leaders, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators, Cornell researchers, nonprofit organization leaders, and other concerned citizens, to discuss specific program and policy recommendations for a variety of rural issues and challenges. This is a summary of those proceedings. Read the Symposium Proceeding