What the Fictional Town of Virgin River Gets Right About California’s Future

It’s Not Exactly Romantic, but the Golden State’s Urban and Rural Areas Should Embrace Their Shared Destiny 

Melinda “Mel” Monroe, a 32-year-old nurse practitioner and midwife, is working at a major L.A. County hospital when her husband suddenly dies. Grief-stricken and seeking to get away, she takes a job as the only nurse and midwife in Virgin River, an unincorporated village of 600 in the mountain forests of far northern California.

But will she stay? It’s no idyll. The housing she was promised is in disrepair, and the old town doctor feels threatened by her presence. And while sparks fly with the hunky Marine veteran who owns …

In Search of ‘the Commons’ in Modern America | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In Search of ‘the Commons’ in Modern America

My Rhode Island Town Has Had a Communal Green Since 1694, but Today’s Public Spaces Are Complicated and Splintered

“The commons” is a concept, an ideal. The commons are property we all share, property that’s owned not by any one person or group, but that’s held—well, in common. …

Want to Preserve American Small Towns? Embrace Immigrants.

From New York to Iowa, Foreign-Born Residents and Their Families Are Helping to Reinvigorate Rural Communities

Once upon a time the pulse of America beat in its small towns. They were where you took your crops to market, met the trains that brought visits from Aunt …