Rural Sustainability Research


At the Carl Small Town Center, it is our belief that sustainable development can exist in small town Mississippi. Instead of lumping environmental concerns alongside societal and economical ones, the health and status of the town needs to be primarily evaluated using the latter two categories only.

Mississippi Bypass Guidelines

Bypass Guidelines

The Small Town Center proposed design guidelines for Mississippi’s highway bypasses which were intended to be used as a resource for elected officials, transportation agencies, community advocates, and others interested in improving the quality of transportation infrastructure projects and how they relate to their respective communities.

Exploring Contemporary Suburbia in Mississippi

Contemporary Suburbia

From a grant for the U.S. Department of Energy, the Carl Small Town Center researched and documented suburban development within Mississippi and developed an outreach and advertising campaign to promote its impacts.

Design for Public Officials Seminar

Design for Public Officials

Funded by the Hearin Foundation, the Carl Small Town Center’s Design for Public Officials Seminar urges local elected officials to promote good design within their communities. Past speakers have included architects, city planners, landscape architects and others who value sustainable community design.

Placemakers Competition

Placemakers Competition

In 2007 and 2008, the Small Town Center sponsored the Placemakers Competition within the MSU School of Architecture, prompting students to re-think and re-design outdoor gathering spaces in Mississippi’s small towns.