Land-use webinar to focus on improving retail activities in rural communities

April 07, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Implementing policies to spur improvements in retail activities in rural communities will be the topic of a web-based seminar presented at noon on April 15 by Penn State Extension.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar will be Harry Crissy, Penn State Extension business and community vitality educator.

“Retail development is vital to the development of rural economies,” he said. “Local merchants are often prominent in civic affairs and among the most important constituencies for economic development. However, retail opportunities are sometimes impacted by other state and federal agencies.”

The webinar will focus on a case study of Denmark, South Carolina, an economically distressed rural community of about 3,400 people in the southeastern part of the state. The local economic development alliance asked Clemson Extension to assist in pursuing opportunities for improvement of the community.

Clemson conducted door-to-door surveys to gain perspective on certain aspects of the town. Using the resulting data, Clemson formed necessary relationships to change the course of the community.

Clemson Extension collaborated with the South Carolina Department of Transportation and the local council of governments to develop a successful plan that met the needs of those most affected while creating a template that could be used for other distressed communities.

This webinar will cover the process of improving the economic activities of a rural, distressed community, Crissy said.

“Improving Retail Activities in Rural Communities by Collaborating with the Department of Transportation” is the fourth webinar in the Penn State Extension Winter/Spring 2020 Land-Use Webinar series that runs through May.

The series assists municipal elected and appointed officials, planners, landowners, farmers, and community organizations in being informed regarding land-use issues and decisions in their communities.

All of these programs will be recorded and available for later viewing. Other topics and dates in the webinar series include the following:

— Jan. 15: “Planning for Active Transportation in Southwestern Pennsylvania.”

— Feb. 19: “Affordable Housing Opportunities in Communities.”

— March 18: “Brownfield Remediation.” Canceled; tentatively rescheduled for June. 

— May 20: “Creating Vibrant Communities.”

The cost of the webinar series is $50 for all five sessions, or $95 for all five sessions for those who want to receive AICP certification-maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. The cost also is $95 for all five sessions for professional engineers needing PDH credits. 

In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing education credits for a fee of $65.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or To register for the webinars, visit the website.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 08, 2020