The Knight Foundation-commissioned report also reveals while most residents feel these amenities are important, a national gap in access exists along racial and economic lines.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – A new landmark study commissioned by Knight Foundation and conducted by the Urban Institute finds that access to arts and cultural amenities is easy for most West Palm Beach metro area residents. Nationally, the report found that racial and economic disparities in accessing these amenities may exist in urban communities such as Greater West Palm Beach.
Here are other key West Palm Beach findings from “Community Ties: Understanding what attaches people to the place where they live,”:
- In the Greater West Palm Beach area, 80% of residents feel they can access arts and entertainment amenities, compared to a national average of 72%.
- Nationally, this study found that while arts and cultural amenities ultimately could create more attachment between residents and their community, low-income residents and residents of color often feel that these amenities are less accessible to them than higher-income, white residents.
“This study shows that West Palm Beach is successfully building strong connections between the community and its residents, especially through access to arts and cultural amenities,” said Lilly Weinberg, Knight’s senior director of community and national initiatives. “Prioritizing equity is critical when investing in these amenities to build on residents’ attachment to the area and ensure everyone has access to what makes a community great.”
Conducted prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns, Community Ties leverages a survey of over 11,000 Americans residing in metro areas across the country — including West Palm Beach — to create one of the richest datasets on what drives attachment to place.
- Those with access to quality of life amenities such as arts, recreational areas and safe places to live, work and play reported a deeper attachment to their community, compared with those who did not.
- The West Palm Beach data reveals how attached local residents are to the West Palm Beach metro area and where gaps in access exist across urban amenities. It offers points of consideration for such leaders such as boosting time in the city, focusing on quality of life and paying attention to issues of equity, to strengthen residents’ ties to their communities.
As cities plan for a post-COVID-19 world and reckon with racial justice, the report provides knowledge for public officials and other community leaders to help make cities more resilient, urban public spaces more equitable, and think anew about how to build places where people want to live, work, play and stay.
To see how your city compares in different areas with other Knight communities and the national averages, go to our interactive website.
For interviews, please contact Alexa Lamanna at [email protected] or 202-320-2766.
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About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit kf.org.
About Urban Institute
The nonprofit Urban Institute is a leading research organization dedicated to developing evidence-based insights that improve people’s lives and strengthen communities. For 50 years, Urban has been the trusted source for rigorous analysis of complex social and economic issues; strategic advice to policymakers, philanthropists and practitioners; and new, promising ideas that expand opportunities for all. Our work inspires effective decisions that advance fairness and enhance the well-being of people and places.