John Robert Smith, President and CEO of Reconnecting America, hails from Meridian Mississippi. As the former Mayor, he saw how even a small city of 40,000 can be the center of a much larger region, providing services for over 350,000 people. It might give us a little bit of a different perspective when it comes to smaller cities and urban areas.
Livability in Small Towns and Rural Areas
What does “livability” mean in a smaller town or city? Some would have us believe that livability is a foreign concept for our small towns and rural areas. The reality couldn’t be farther from the truth.
This collection of 12 case studies provides examples of how small cities, towns and rural regions across the country are transforming themselves into more livable communities. While some of these communities face formidable threats – from job losses and shrinking populations to disappearing farmland and strained resources – their leaders have forged collaborations and created plans that are growing economies, bene.ting people and protecting the land and lifestyles treasured by residents and non-residents alike.
The exact de.nition may di.er place to place, but these case studies reveal some core values and needs that exist in these communities across America. It is about providing people, including seniors and those who cannot…
John Robert Smith, CEO of Reconnecting America and co-chair of Transportation For America, discusses why he left his hometown of Meridian, MS, where he grew up in the house his grandfather built, a home he had lived in all of his life, to come to DC and work on reforming our country's federal transportation program.
Mayor John Robert Smith of Meridian, Mississippi, has been named President and CEO of the national nonprofit Reconnecting America. He has served on Reconnecting America’s board for five years, and was a founding partner and board member of Reconnecting America’s predecessor organization, the Great American Station Foundation, voting to expand its mission and change its name in 2004.