Mary: This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program asks if new technology could revive rural areas. Mike, it’s a fact that in North Carolina and most states, urban areas have grown and prospered more than rural regions. This situation is commonly called the urban-rural divide. As we look ahead, is there anything on the horizon that could change this?
Mike: Summary Answer
- Many factors have been behind the urban-rural divide: globalization, the decline in manufacturing jobs, the growth of tech firms in big cities near universities, and the expansion of college grads who want the lifestyle offered in the big city
- But some futurists say new technology could change this
- Virtualization, drone delivery of goods, internet delivery of services, 3D technology moving manufacturing from large factories to households and firms, autonomous vehicles, and ride-sharing
- All these could reduce advantage of living and working in cities, and increase the attractiveness of rural and small town living
- Could also be prompted by cities become too expensive and congested
- So watch trends
- I’m MW
Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.