In yesterday’s Star Tribune, there was an article titled “Love your city? It might love you back“. The piece suggested that well-loved cities are more economically successful.
A three-year study of more than two dozen cities has found that there is a relationship between civic pride and economic growth. Paula Ellis of the Knight Foundation, the group funding the study says, “This is a new way of looking at how engaged residents create successful communities”.
For the Minnesota cities studied, the findings indicate that a city’s offerings for social life, how welcoming residents were to others, education and community aesthetics were the qualities that most inspired loyalty and passion. There’s a significant correlation between this loyalty and passion and the gross domestic product growth over the past five years in each of the 26 cities studied.
A vibrant social life, welcoming environment, quality education, and community aesthetics…could this be the conceptually elusive “sense of place”?