Rural Revitalization with System Dynamics using Kinston, NC as a case study
Rural communities in the United States continue to experience population loss, higher poverty rates, and lower educational attainment than urban areas. City planners are tasked with reversing these trends by making complicated strategic decisions involving education, commerce, housing, entertainment, employment, poverty, and crime. This paper takes an innovative approach to rural economic development. By engaging community stakeholders and applying a methodology adapted from engineering, this paper describes the complex economic interactions within a rural community using Kinston, NC as a case study. Systems Dynamics is a methodology used in engineering and environmental applications to describe stocks, flows, and feedback loops to identify key levers that impact the system and provide tools for simulations. This research project is a concept map of how education, housing, local entrepreneurship, and job opportunities interact in the community. With this model of the local economy, city planners and community stakeholders can begin to see how each part of their system affects the others. It also provides ways to identify leverage points, or the areas where we can make the most impact with the minimum amount of effort. Community partners informed the components of the system and provided feedback to enhance the model’s applicability to Kinston. This research contributes to the literature by applying System Dynamics to rural economic development literature and provides a framework for future researchers to integrate data to simulate outcomes. Other research can apply stakeholder engaged, System Dynamics modeling to other rural communities to describe the socio-economic interactions and identify controls that can be leveraged to realize synergies between public and private collaborations. Applying Systems Dynamics to urban planning is based on Jay Forrester’s “Urban Dynamics” and focuses on how cities can work to prevent urban decay.
Basden, Davis. (May 2020). Rural Revitalization with System Dynamics using Kinston, NC as a case study (Honors Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/8695.)
Basden, Davis. Rural Revitalization with System Dynamics using Kinston, NC as a case study. Honors Thesis. East Carolina University, May 2020. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/8695. April 11, 2021.
Basden, Davis, “Rural Revitalization with System Dynamics using Kinston, NC as a case study” (Honors Thesis., East Carolina University, May 2020).
Basden, Davis. Rural Revitalization with System Dynamics using Kinston, NC as a case study [Honors Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; May 2020.
East Carolina University