robertson.adams's blog

November 16, 2010

'Residents rated Lexington area as significantly more open for families with young children'

From LuAnn Farrar's Kentucky News Review, Nov. 16, 2010: 

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has released its study results from "Soul of the Community." The organization's research included Lexington. According to a the foundation, the intention of the study is to identify "factors that emotionally attach residents to where they live. Some of these community characteristics that drive attachment were rated highly by residents, and are therefore community strengths while others were rated lower, making them opportunities for improvement.

This information can provide communities a roadmap for increasing residents’ emotional attachment to where they live, which the study found has a significant relationship to economic vitality." The study found that in Lexington social offerings (entertainment infrastructure, places to meet people, community events), openness (how welcoming a place is) and aesthetics (an area's physical beauty and green spaces) are the most important factors in connecting residents to where they live.

Those are also the areas most in need of improvement. For example, residents rated the Lexington area as significantly more open for families with young children in 2010 — making them the group seen as most-welcomed — they see it as least welcoming to immigrants and young talent.

More at

November 16, 2010

'Daily Grinder: Philadelphia Studies'

From Philadelphia Weekly, Nov. 16, 2010:

OK, we don’t want you to start your Tuesday off too sad: If you’re in Philly too long, this city will eat you alive – nah, just kidding, sorta. It’ll actually help you grow an “emotional bond” which will keep you here, forevermore. And that emotional bond, according to a new study conducted by Gallup and paid for by the Knight Foundation, found that social offerings, openness and beauty were more important to Philadelphians than, say, safety and perceptions about the economy. Therefore – keeping up? – the vague ideas of “social offerings” and “beauty” of the city are the only things that keep the slow, steady economic machine moving at all! [Philadelphia Business Journal]

More at Philadelphia Weekly:

November 15, 2010

'St. Paul residents passionate about their city'

 From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Nov. 15, 2010: 

St. Paul residents are more attached to their city than folks in many other cities and that could mean good things for the local economy, according to a study released Monday.

The Soul of the Community report by Gallup and the Knight Foundation, based on three years of data, looked at 25 other cities to gauge people's passion for where they live.

The study has found a positive correlation between community attachment and local economic growth.

More in the Minneapolis Star Tribune:


November 15, 2010

'Knight Foundation: San Jose must woo tomorrow's work force'

 From the San Jose Business Journal, Nov. 15: 

A three-year study found that social offerings, openness and beauty are far more important to San Jose residents than their perceptions of the economy, jobs or basic services, according to a report Monday from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

San Jose residents feel that the city needs to improve its social offerings such as community events, entertainment venues, and arts and culture opportunities.

Immigrants and job-seeking college graduates were perceived to be significantly less welcome in San Jose than in 2009.

More in

November 15, 2010

'New research: If you love your town, prosperity follows'

 From The Christian Science Monitor: 

If you sometimes stop and wonder why you donate to your local school’s annual fundraiser, help plant trees on your town’s main drag or offer free hot cocoa at every street fair, the answer is because you're either very generous or you know what's good for your local economy.

New research suggests when people “love” the culture of their towns, economic prosperity follows. In a three-year Gallup survey of 26 U.S. cities, researchers learned the communities with highest levels of resident attachment — a person's passion for where he or she lives — also had the highest rates of GDP growth over time.

The findings "point to a new perspective that we encourage leaders to consider," said Paula Ellis of the Knight Foundation, which funded the poll. "It is especially valuable as we aim to strengthen our communities during this tough economic time.”

More in The Christian Science Monitor:

November 15, 2010

'Survey: Metro Detroiters take pride in local education'

 The Detroit News, Nov. 15th: 

Detroit— Residents say the strength of education in the city is one of the reasons they feel a connection to Metro Detroit, according to a new survey.

One thousand residents of a six counties in the Metro Detroit area, who were part of the three-year Knight Soul of the Community survey, identified education as a positive in the city and perceived schools and colleges as doing well. Residents in 25 other communities polled by the survey didn't feel the same way about schools in their areas. The survey — conducted by Gallup and funded through the Knight Foundation — was released today.

More in The Detroit News:;

November 15, 2010

'Study of Detroit, other cities, links passion for community with economic growth'

 Crain's Detroit Business / Nov. 15

Surprisingly, social offerings, openness or how welcoming the community is and its beauty are far more important to Detroit residents than their perceptions of the economy, jobs, basic services, leadership and safety, Gallup said.

Detroit residents pointed to education as a strength of the local community, but their perceptions of both K-12 schools and local colleges and universities are lower this year than in 2009.

Local residents reported that they felt Detroit needs to improve its social offerings and be more welcoming to young talent.

But Detroit was not alone: job-seeking college graduates are perceived to be one of the least welcome groups across all 26 communities, according to the survey.



November 14, 2010

How can communities use a new Gallup-Knight survey to avoid brain drain?


In this interview, Knight Foundation consultant Katherine Loflin talks about real steps communities can take – from widening sidewalks to improving a city’s social venues – to help residents become more attached to where they live. As a result, communities can become more attractive to young, college-educated workers that cities need to continue to thrive, said Loflin, whose remarks stem from the findings of the Soul of the Community survey.

The Knight-Gallup survey explores the connection between local economic growth and peoples’ emotional bond to a place. More at


Discover the soul of your community

Great schools, affordable health care and safe streets all help create strong communities. But is there something deeper that draws people to a city – that makes them want to put down roots and build a life?

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