Multiculturalizing rural towns - Insights for inclusive planning

Faranak Miraftab, Eileen McConnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Many regions of the United States, including the Midwest, have recently undergone significant demographic change. Much of this Midwestern demographic change, particularly in rural areas, has been due to the recruitment of low-paid workers for food processing industries. Though immigrants remain concentrated in their traditional urban destinations, many are choosing other locales as well, including rural destinations in states that historically have not drawn immigrants. Such shifts have increased the racial and ethnic diversity of many small communities whose formal structures of decision making and planning are ill-equipped to deal with the resulting social heterogeneity. The paper points out that much of the inclusive planning perspective is based on the experience of metropolitan areas and large cities. To look at multiculturalism and planning rather through the lens of rural communities' rapid diversification achieves insights useful to the ongoing dialogue in planning scholarship. Through the case study of a demographically rapidly changing small community in the Midwest, the paper highlights the planning challenges and opportunities there and recommends agendas for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-360
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Planning Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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