Balancing Rural Lifestyles With A Modern Economy

The theme at Montana's annual state conference on smart growth, was how to blend economic prosperity with smart growth and land-use planning.

Montana communities used to have a competitive advantage in natural resource industries, but the modern economy has shifted to knowledge based industries. Towns whose economic base remains in traditional industries such as agricultural, wood products, and mining are suffering. Ben Alexander, associate director of the Sonoran Institute, a nonprofit research institute, believes that Montana could grow its economy while retaining its quality of life. Marketing, idea-creation, design, research, and product development are all "knowledge economy" businesses that generate wealth without harming the natural environment. The key to attracting these types of businesses is providing a high quality of life - by protecting the natural characteristics that make Montana unique, according to Alexander.

Thanks to Zvi Leve

Full Story: Conference explores growing state economy, quality of life:

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