Recommendations for Thriving Mid-sized Communities

Research Areas: Economic Development, Housing & Community Development, Tax & Finance

The Mid-sized Communities Commission brought together 16 individuals from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in mid-sized communities to identify common community challenges and opportunities and to develop recommendations and strategies to address them over the next ten years.

This report summarizes the Mid-sized Communities Commission and their work, including recommendations in four focus areas:

• Quality of life and quality of place

• Improving pathways and eliminating barriers to post-secondary education

• Cultivating community leadership and civic engagement

• Local government reform and innovation

Thriving Communities, Thriving State is a Policy Choices project of the Indiana University Public Policy Institute. Informed by a representative group of community leaders and other stakeholders, it explores state and local strategies and policies that can help Indiana communities of all sizes thrive and fulfill their critical roles in attracting businesses, new business investment, and workers to Indiana.

Instead of examining local issues on a one-size-fits-all basis, Thriving Communities, Thriving State frames Indiana’s changing demographic and economic realities for three kinds of communities:

• Urban: First- or second-class cities that have been among the 10 largest cities since 1900, generally with a population of 50,000+

• Mid-sized: 15,000+ population in 2010 that are not included in urban

• Rural/small town: Small towns are those not captured above with a population between 5,000 and 15,000 or a seat of county government smaller than 5,000. For the purposes of these designations, small communities and unincorporated areas are considered to be rural.

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Expert Team

Jamie Palmer
Breanca  Merritt
  • Breanca Merritt, PhD
  • Senior Research Analyst
  • 317-261-3029
Brittany Glaze
  • Brittany Glaze
Laura Littlepage
R. Mark Lawrance
  • R. Mark Lawrance
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