Link to ARC home page.

Asset-Based Development

Appalachia's natural, cultural, structural, and leadership resources can play an important role in building a strong and sustainable economy in the Region. ARC's Asset-Based Development Initiative seeks to help communities identify and leverage local assets to create jobs and build prosperity while preserving the character of their community.

Development strategies include:

  • Capitalizing on traditional arts, culture, and heritage.
  • Leveraging ecological assets for outdoor sports such as fishing, camping, white-water rafting, and rock climbing.
  • Helping communities build stronger local food systems to revitalize their economies, improve public health, create jobs, and spur entrepreneurship.
  • Adding value to farming through specialized agricultural development, including processing specialty food items, fish farming, and organic farming.
  • Getting the most from hardwood forests by maximizing sustainable timber harvesting and value-added processing.
  • Encouraging the development of local leadership and civic entrepreneurs.
  • Converting overlooked and underused facilities into industrial parks, business incubators, or educational facilities.

ARC undertakes a broad scope of work under the Asset-Based Development Initiative, including identifying best practices, building partnerships with private, public and nonprofit organizations, providing technical assistance to communities, and funding asset-based development efforts. 

ARC Guidelines for Asset-Based Development Projects



Asset-Based Development Links

Local Food in Appalachia
Research Reports
Examples of Projects
Additional Resources