Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



Since the industrial revolution, there has been a steady out­migration from rural areas into the urban centers. The decrease of economic activity in rural America, caused by the mechanization of farming techniques, the increased size of farms and the centralization of manufacturing and industrial processes, has led to this continuous out-migration. Now, in the early seventies, we find that migration from rural to urban has overcrowded, polluted and congested these urban areas and left most of America vacant. This thesis attempts to show that a rural life-style is possible and that the problems that caused the migration from rural areas can be solved. Using a rural community, White Oaks, New Mexico, as a paradigm, illustrations are given of possible solutions to problems plaguing most rural towns: lack of economic opportunities; inadequate health care; inadequate education and training; and, lack of recreational and cultural activities. A method was established for studying White Oaks which might be applied to other rural towns with slight modifications. This method consists of five major areas:

1. analyze the existing man-built environment

2. analyze the natural environment

3. analyze the specific problems confronting the area

3. develop goals for the community

5. develop short and long range master-plans

This method was applied to White Oaks and the short and long range plans were developed. The people of White Oaks are now working towards implementing these plans and making their community a viable place to live. With increases in technological innovations, many more solutions to the problems confronting rural areas will be found making rural revitalization a viable planning approach to lessening the problems of both rural and urban America.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Richard Alan Anderson

Second Committee Member


Third Committee Member

Michel Louis Roger Pillet

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Architecture Commons