The Knight Foundation recently released the report of their 2008 Soul of the Community Study to find out just what creates the emotional ties people have to their communities…essentially, what inspires them to root themselves in a particular place. What did they find?
After interviewing close to 28,000 people in 26 communities over two years, the study has found that three main qualities bind people to place: social offerings such as entertainment venues and places to meet – the top factor in 21 of 26 communities, openness (how welcoming a place is) and the area’s aesthetics (its physical beauty and green spaces).
Aberdeen, SD, was one of the communities surveyed, but that isn’t the only reason South Dakotans should be interested the study’s findings. There’s plenty in the report for our state’s communities to consider as they plan for the future. Economic development groups, chambers of commerce, and other civic leaders need to take note of this study (I’m talking to you, Madison, SD!). There’s more than industry and jobs to consider when developing plans for growing our small towns.
Dig into all the information here: http://www.soulofthecommunity.org/