Video: Dr. Katherine Loflin worked with leaders from community foundations to find place making opportunities in the results of Knight's Soul of the Community research. Now her radio program will explore similar themes.
The Knight Soul of the Community project is a groundbreaking study that explores what makes people love where they live, and why it matters. Using primary survey research gathered in 26 U.S. communities by Gallup for Knight from 2008 to 2010, Lead Consultant Dr. Katherine Loflin helped identify a strong correlation between how citizens feel about their local community and economic output of that community.
Katherine Loflin, Ph.D. speaking at the Council on Foundations Fall Conference for Community Foundations.
Ultimately, if you love your town, prosperity follows, and it even shows up in the GDP for that town.
In the wake of these findings, Knight funded Dr. Loflin to build higher, and take a look at the implications and opportunities for U.S. communities. The result is “Place Matters,” a new weekly radio program focusing on place making and its connection to community engagement.
“The field of placemaking is really booming right now,” Loflin says. “I have a ready and hungry audience from the Soul of the Community work, and people with an avid interest in placemaking work in a variety of sectors all across the country. They are seeking the show out and tuning in the podcast. The show is really a public home for the placemaking conversation by bringing in research, thought leaders from around the country and inspiring stories and ideas from everyday citizens.”
On the first show, her guest was Fred Kent, one of the founders of the placemaking movement. He started his career with Margaret Mead in observing human behavior within city. Today Kent is the president of the Project for Public Spaces, which boasts of training thousands of participants each year in the concepts of placemaking.
The next show – set for today, Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. EDT, will take a look at the implications and opportunities of the Knight Soul of the Community project.
Future shows will showcase successful ideas from everyday citizens in placemaking; profile the innovative placemaking work of a couple of cities; have a mayor or two on who are using placemaking as a foundation of their leadership; and perhaps someone from United Nations Habitat to explain the placemaking push around the world.
If you’re in the Miami area, you can tune in the show Tuesdays on WZAB, 880-AM and everywhere else you can listen live on the Internet or fetch the podcast from iTunes. Katherine says she keeps an open line to listeners during the show through a Facebook page, and follows tweets marked #placematters and #placemaking. Follow her show on Twitter @katherineloflin.