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Regional development planning : an analysis of the approach in Pictou County, Nova Scotia Cornejo, Daniel

Abstract

efforts to initiate and sustain broad-based development activity. The study showed that though a variety of studies were conducted, they were initiated by and conducted with the intimate involvement of Pictou County residents who had been and would continue to be affected by the decisions arrived at. The study further showed that Pictou County residents were fast learning through their involvement that so much of what would likely happen in Pictou County depended on the initiatives they would take. What was happening in Pictou County by virtue of the Development Opportunities Project was found to embrace quite closely the concepts which form the theory of social learning. The study concluded by saying that while great care was necessary to rule out cause and effect relationships that may be spurious, the previous federal and provincial regional development planning efforts seemed to have had marginal influence on the economic well-being of residents in Nova Scotia regions and may have even hindered social and political development. On the other hand, evidence appeared to exist to suggest that social and political development was taking place as a result of the Development Opportunities Project. No hard data existed on the economic effects of the Project. Generally, however, this study suggested that regional development planning that strengthens the process of social learning within the region will have more fundamental and worthwhile effects than the more traditional approaches.

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