The age-old “rural vs. urban” debate will be one of the focuses of the Community Prosperity Forum, being held in Corner Brook April 24 and 25.
International and local speakers will discuss the relationships between rural and urban communities and how they can overcome obstacles to work together for mutual benefit.
Titled Creating Successful Municipalities, the forum is co-hosted by the city of Corner Brook and Memorial’s Harris Centre, in partnership with Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, the Corner Brook Economic Development Corporation, College of the North Atlantic, the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities, and the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.
Dr. Peter Billing of the Centre for Regional and Tourism Research, Denmark, will present findings on research in rural-urban interdependence in the Nordic countries.
“Municipal government in places such as Denmark and Sweden is much stronger than in Canada, where provincial governments play a significant role,” says Dr. Robert Greenwood, director of the Harris Centre. “Dr. Billing has a particular interest in local government on islands and will draw on his research to demonstrate how small island jurisdictions rely on local government to maximize their development opportunities.”
Dr. David Freshwater will bring key insights on this topic from the United States and Canada. Dr. Freshwater, who is based at the University of Kentucky, is originally from Canada and has worked in rural and community development throughout North America and internationally. He has collaborated with the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities (NLFM) and is developing a project on how neighbouring municipalities can implement approaches to shared governance for infrastructure, economic development and other municipal activities.
Kelly Vodden will speak on the work of the NLFM’s Community Cooperation Resource Centre, which is promoting regional cooperation among municipalities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Ms. Vodden will describe numerous examples of municipalities in the province innovating on a regional level to gain economies of scale and improved service through cooperation.
For more information about the Community Prosperity Forum or to register, visit www.cornerbrook.com/conf or contact Stacie Gregory, conference co-ordinator, Community Prosperity Forum, phone (709) 637-1587, firstname.lastname@example.org
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