About Us

Supporting resiliency in rural communities

The Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ACSRC) is a research centre located at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta. Since its founding in 2009, the ACSRC has assisted rural communities in meeting diverse challenges across many areas of public policy through fostering constructive dialogue, promoting interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and developing partnerships.

Recently, we have been engaged in rural-focused projects related to sustainable economic development opportunities, community mental health, the delivery of social services, enhancing inclusivity, advancing the transition to renewable energy, aiding municipal collaboration, and better understanding rural public opinion and rural-based populism. Learn more about our projects in various stages of development here.


The vision of the ACSRC is of resilient rural communities across Canada linked closely to the discovery, dissemination, and application of new knowledge at the University of Alberta through teaching and learning, research and creative activity, community involvement, and partnerships. Such resilient rural communities will hinge on informed citizens actively participating in community governance and development in order to support and sustain the people, livelihoods, regional and local capital, economic development and long-term social viability of rural communities as a key element of the Canadian economy, the natural environment and as home to many Canadians.


The mission of the ACSRC is to link the research, outreach and educational capacity of the University of Alberta with students, researchers, rural communities, rural community organizations and policy makers at multiple levels across the province, nationally, and internationally in order to support the improved sustainability of rural communities and populations.



The ACSRC recognizes the contributions and capacity of individual citizens, private, public, community and other non-governmental organizations, faculty, staff and students of post-secondary institutions in Alberta, in collectively advancing the development and sustainability of rural communities.

Methodological and theoretical rigour and pluralism:

The ACSRC encourages both theoretical and methodological pluralism, and the critical reflection upon the suitability and implications of the theories and methods used.

Capacity building:

The ACSRC is committed to supporting the ability of rural communities via research, outreach and knowledge transfer, to not only govern themselves, but to participate in a meaningful and efficacious manner at and with all levels of government and administration.


The ACSRC seeks to adopt best practices in all of its activities in order to ensure fair and open operations, and to comply with the appropriate FOIP legislation, etc.

Local knowledge:

The ACSRC recognizes that the sustainability of rural communities in Canada varies from region to region, from community to community, and that factors such as culture, geography, natural environment, socio-economic context and political history can all lead to varying outcomes. The ACSRC, therefore, recognizes that the knowledge, experience and expertise present within communities has equal value and standing to that generated within an institution (university or college) setting.

Evidence-informed decision-making:

While keeping to all other values listed here, the ACSRC supports the application of systematically gained knowledge to guide the decisions, policies and programs of

(1) the Centre;

(2) rural communities;

(3) regional, provincial and national policy-makers.