For several years, the Knight Foundation has been delving into why people feel attached to the places they live — what makes people want to put down roots.
The commission just rolled out a report on the third year of its study, done in conjunction with Gallup, and the results are revealing. Neither people’s sense about the availability of jobs nor their feeling of safety have the strongest connection to their sense of attachment.
What do? A place’s physical beauty, the opportunities it offers to get together with others and a its sense of openness to all people turn out to be the biggest drivers of attachment to a place.
The study is not a national survey. Rather it’s a continuing look at 26 individual cities, including St. Paul and Duluth. It has found that cities where residents feel a greater attachment to their community do better economically.
For people interested in residents’ engagement with challenges in their communities, it’s worth a look. It’s called Knight Soul of the Cities.