The Small Cities Conference brings together academics and policymakers to focus on issues facing small cities and rural communities. Since 2001, the Small Cities Conference has examined past milestones, present challenges, and future prospects of mid-sized communities on a national and global stage.

The Small Cities Conference is led by the Center for Middletown Studies with interdisciplinary support from scholars and offices across campus, including the Center for Business and Economic Research, the Indiana Communities Institute, and the RUPRI Center for State Policy.

2020 Conference

Thinking Regionally

Non-metropolitan places regularly encounter public policy challenges spanning multiple communities and jurisdictions. Effectively confronting the challenges facing rural communities, towns, and smaller cities requires both a better understanding of regional linkages and greater interaction between the academics who study these issues and the policy makers who address them. 

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2018 Conference

Vulnerable Communities

Recent research suggests that many small cities and rural areas are at increased risk of job loss, population decline, and associated social problems. To effectively confront these challenges, we must (1) better understand the many dimensions of vulnerable communities and (2) encourage interaction between the academics who study these issues and the policymakers who address them.

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