Developing Regional Economic Connectivity: Strategies for Urban and Rural Communities 

Developing Regional Economic Connectivity describes the assets that help communities to connect to their regional economies. This report identifies factors that support local engagement in regional economies, how these factors vary for urban and rural places, and whether the benefits of economic connectivity are equitably distributed among places and people in regions. Regional economic connectivity encourages communities to align with and leverage their region’s economic strength and indicates the extent to which the economic specializations driving broader regional economies also have a strong presence locally.

We find that regional economic connectivity:

  • Promotes local growth; 
  • has the potential to generate equitable regional economies in which all people can participate, prosper and reach their full potential; and 
  • is supported by local assets and factors, including business ecosystems, infrastructure, planning support and funding, and housing and quality of life, that vary for different types of urban and rural communities. 

Dive Deeper

Building connections to regional industry clusters offers opportunities for growth, equity and resilience in local communities. We’ve created this interactive tool to help communities identify opportunities for regional connection. Identify which regional industry clusters offer pathways for development and growth by highlighting those that are:

  • strong in your region and county
  • growing in your region and county
  • strong in your region but less so in your own county, potentially offering an opportunity for growth
  • distributed throughout the region
  • opportunities for growth in your county and neighboring counties