Prof. Wayne Caldwell
Dr. Wayne Caldwell

This week, two segments of TVO’s The Agenda featured U of G rural planning experts speaking about rural Ontario topics.

In a Jan. 25 segment, Dr. Wayne Caldwell, a rural planning professor, spoke about housing in rural Ontario, and in a Jan. 24 segment, Ashleigh Weeden, a rural studies PhD candidate in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD), returned to discuss attracting and retaining workers in rural towns.

Caldwell lends rural planning and development expertise

Caldwell appeared in a segment that focused on how the pandemic has led to an increased interest in rural property and caused the prices of rural homes to soar.

Caldwell highlighted the demands behind the increased interest, before speaking on the positive aspects of the high prices. He said there is a collective interest in growth within rural communities with reduced populations, and that inflation will increase profits and encourage developers to invest more in rural development.

Current interest in rural community growth, he said, could be encouraged by mixing density levels within developments and by making the current processes for required rules and regulations more effective and efficient.

A SEDRD professor, Caldwell focuses on rural studies, planning and development. His current research projects include planning for healthy rural communities and populations, rural community economic development and planning for rural resilience.

Weeden Discusses Attracting Workers  

Ashleigh Weeden

On a segment on how rural Ontario can attract more workers, Weeden spoke about her recent case study on Saugeen Shores, a town with nuclear energy as its main job source, as an example of how to remedy challenges and gain benefits of economic growth. One way to do so, she explained, is to better invest in providing proper infrastructure – such as sufficient services to improve quality of life – to support and retain workers in rural areas.


Watch the segments of Caldwell and Weeden below: