Chapter 3: Focus on local
The last chapter’s attention to the regional context of shrinkage offered important lessons and scaffolding. Now I turn to the scale that matters most in much of the world: the local. From parishes to towns, from cities to boroughs, the small-scale political apparatus and administrative functions of local government shape and reshape the planning and response to shrinkage.
The regionalist argument may be convincing, but local is where decisions are made, where policies and plans are implemented (either formally or informally) to shape how a shrinking place manages change. What is meant by local varies from region to region, country to country. In the U.S., local governments can be tiny hamlets of 6 square miles (e.g. Stafford, Oregon), or they can stretch across tens of thousands of square miles (e.g. Elko County in Nevada).
In the most rural areas, counties perform all local government functions across these large land areas (approaching regional in scope), but more urbanized parts of the U.S. operate at finer geographies. Either way, legally they are both considered local, and through the provision of infrastructure, land development regulation, and emergency services they impact the lives of residents and the attractiveness of any given place. Likewise, the choices of thousands of individuals and families can impact the basic functioning of local governments. A mass exodus from a locality is expected to result in a reduction in tax revenues and can impinge on the ability of that local government to provide services. This chapter...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.