Community Resilience and Capacity

Helping communities improve their economic resilience, create sustainable infrastructures, and promote their local economy through value-added opportunities and new business development.

Highlighted Research Activities

  • Social, demographic, economic, and policy issues facing communities
  • Human activity intersecting with natural and agricultural systems
  • Impacts of local and regional food systems

Research Expertise

Research Videos

Introducing the UNESCO Chair
This is a brief introductory video from the UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development at Penn State.

Research Centers and Initiatives

Center for Economic and Community Development
Penn State's Center for Economic and Community Development helps create new opportunities for people living throughout Pennsylvania.
Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD)
One of four federally-funded regional centers coordinating rural development research in the U.S., the NERCRD coordinates the initiatives of the rural development faculty from the 15 land-grant institutions in the Northeast region.
Social Science Research Institute
Addresses critical human and social problems at the local, national, and international levels by bringing together researchers from different disciplines.


Grant will support grain bin safety research at Penn State
December 4, 2018
A $160,000 grant awarded to Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will support research aimed at reducing the potential for injury and death due to grain bin entrapment.
Broadband researcher believes lack of access offers opportunity
November 20, 2018
As a yearlong effort to study broadband access in Pennsylvania nears its conclusion, the Penn State faculty member leading the effort sees numerous opportunities. The overwhelming amount of data documenting that relatively few residents of the Commonwealth have access to even the FCC-mandated minimum for measuring internet availability and speed, opens up options for accessing grants to bridge the digital divide.
Farmers market vendors need training to improve food-safety practices
November 1, 2018
Many vendors at farmers markets take inadequate precautions to prevent the spread of foodborne illness, and they should be trained to reduce food-safety risks, according to Penn State researchers who completed the final phase of an innovative five-year study.
Rural and urban communities need different policies to boost economic mobility
September 11, 2018
The farther away from a city a person is raised, the more likely they are to climb the economic ladder, according to economists, who also found that community characteristics associated with upward mobility actually have different effects in rural and urban locations.
Using social media to solve social problems
August 16, 2018
Social scientists rely on data to study social problems. However, data from traditional surveys can be difficult and time consuming to collect, as well as inaccurate, since not all factors can be measured well. A National Science Foundation-funded Penn State project will evaluate the accuracy of using Twitter data to represent populations across different demographic groups.