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What is a rural area, and how do you know when you get there? Planners have attempted to define and label rural in a number of ways.
One of the most common is to indirectly define these areas as "not urban." Implicit in this indirect definition is that rural areas are those places beyond the suburbs that we haven't subjected to close scrutiny. These areas have been called the urban fringe, exurbia, or even the hinterlands.
This issue of Zoning Practice analyzes Lancaster County, Pennsylvania's rural strategy and discusses approaches to rural area planning in Pennsylvania, Washington, and Minnesota that may serve as models for rural communities across the country.
About the Author
Dean Severson, AICP