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Is it possible for rural communities to empower themselves by moving away from the old top-down approach of centrally planned development and subsidy - and build sustainable futures from within?

All over the world, increasing numbers of people are flocking from rural areas to the busy metropolis in search of a better life and more money.

But in Scotland the countryside is making a comeback, largely because rural communities have been allowed to buy up the remote areas.

On the island communities of Eigg and Gigha, this empowerment has led to job creation, infrastructure investment, and increasing populations.

Their success has been used to validate the notion that if local people are given input into the decision-making process, the long-standing trend of rural decline can be reversed.

People & Power presents a unique new development model for rural areas struggling with problems of social exclusion, economic decline and political disenfranchisement. 

This episode of People & Power aired from Sunday, April 13, 2008.

Source: Al Jazeera