The information in our study covers the Macon, Georgia, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
In each community, the Knight Soul of the Community study identified 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 Macon area experienced a significant drop in overall resident attachment to the community in 2010. This seems primarily due to significant drops in ratings of many of the key things that tie residents to the area. However, attachment is higher in Macon than the rest of the area surveyed.
Social offerings (entertainment infrastructure, places to meet people, community events), openness (how welcoming the place is) and aesthetics (an area's physical beauty and green spaces) are the most important factors in connecting residents to where they live.
Aesthetics, particularly the natural beauty of the area is a community strength.
Social offerings and openness are areas of opportunity to further attach residents to the area. Nightlife was rated significantly better in 2010 by residents, and this momentum can be furthered to improve other aspects of social offerings.
In openness, although seniors are seen as most welcome in the area, they were rated as significantly less welcome in 2010. Young talent is perceived as the least welcome group and significantly less welcome in 2010, as were families with children.
Leadership - although not a key factor in attaching residents to the area - was also rated significantly lower in 2010.
'Survey: Most residents ‘not attached’ to Macon area'
(c) Copyright 2010 The Macon Telegraph, Nov. 16, 2010:
Social opportunities, community openness and aesthetics are more likely to help Macon retain its residents over time, according to a study released Monday.
“We wanted to understand what causes people to become attached to the place they live,” said Paula Ellis, vice president for strategic initiatives for the Knight Foundation.
“We wanted to see what causes them to feel loyalty and pride in where they live. It’s an emotional construction about what people feel and what ties them to the place they live.” Chuck Boulware, a mechanical engineer who works at the Mercer Engineering Research Center in Warner Robins, moved to Macon nearly four years ago from Louisville, Ky. He said he decided to live in Macon because it offers social opportunities not available in Warner Robins.
“Macon has a downtown, period,” said Boulware, who was not part of the survey. “It’s a city with restaurants and things to do.”
Boulware, who lives near Tattnall Square Park, said there’s a lot more shopping options and other activities within walking distance than when he moved here, thanks to the addition of Mercer Village and other amenities.
Read more at Macon.com: http://www.macon.com/2010/11/16/1342608/survey-most-residents-not-attached.html#ixzz15Se8OSc6