Ideas for Lynchburg, SC


On Friday I completed the 3rd session of the Urban Land Institute’s Sustainable Leadership program (3 more to go). The program is made up of roughly 54 individuals from across the state, and is designed to teach the latest and best practices in sustainable community planning, economic and real estate development, land use and community organization.

For our final three sessions we are breaking into six teams to each tackle a real-life redevelopment project for a small community in the state. Our team is going to assist Lynchburg, SC…a small, rural town of 559 residents located between Sumter and Florence.

Lynchburg is looking for a spark. It has a rich agricultural and culinary tradition, but its more recent future has been shaped (negatively) by two transportation events…the loss of their rail line and the introduction of I-95 (four miles away…but might as well be four hundred). Today the youth leave town to find better jobs and lives…and most of the business and stores moved as well.

There are a few bright spots which we can leverage – the town’s agricultural history, its culinary tradition (including a home-grown culinary star…Cake Man Raven), and a great small town spirit. More to come after we visit, meet the town residents, and start developing some ideas/plans.