Abstract

This article explores quality of life (QoL) for community residents in the context of mountain towns in the Appalachian region of the United States. The literature on the dimensions that define community QoL is consulted, along with a discussion of the methods and sources used by policymakers in Roanoke, Virginia, to develop a QoL index. This method is then replicated and extended to illustrate how community leaders can benchmark their region's performance, make comparisons with other similar towns, and use it as a tool to help market their community. The article adds value by sharing the Roanoke model with the academic and practitioner community for the first time and by demonstrating how its methodology can be affordably and sustainably adapted for use in any small community, including the case study Appalachian Mountain town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

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