Lars Hallstrom is a political scientist by training, with a long-standing combination of teaching and research interests in comparative politics, environmental policy, environmental health, public health and natural resource management. He is the first Director of the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities, University of Alberta (ACSRC) since 2009.
They have conducted over 40 projects related to rural sustainability in Alberta and Canada (based largely in 3 priority areas: environmental sustainability (water), social sustainability (aging and youth), and institutional sustainability (rural/municipal planning, policy and governance). They have also partnered with researchers, research networks and rural development organizations (such as the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation) around the world.
In addition to rurally-focused work, he continues to work with different teams of researchers in Canada, the USA and the EU on environmental policy and planning issues such as water and watershed management, municipal planning and governance, regionalization, innovation and most recently the possibility of a new/alternative pedagogy for sustainability.
“The reality is… if you’re a rural community that does not have good broadband and there’s still a lot of it out there, it is a real challenge, but if you don’t have that infrastructure as a community then you may as well forget about getting anybody under the age of 35 to even think about moving there” – Lars Hallstrom
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