How to read the motion chart?
The chart below examines the drivers for community attachment (Basic Services, Economy, Safety, Leadership, Education, Aesthetics, Social Offerings, Openness, Social Capital, Civic Involvement).
The vertical axis displays the importance of a driver in predicting overall community attachment. The horizontal axis displays how the community is perceived to be performing in regard to that driver.
The chart space is thus divided into four segments. The upper left is of particular interest. It represents what we call “critical opportunities” for improving community attachment: the drivers found in this quadrant are rated important, but low in performance by citizens. They are, in a way, the low hanging fruits: increasing performance of these drivers will have outsized impact on community attachment, because they are rated important.
Click on a bubble for an explanation about what each driver represents.
Click on the play button to watch the driver values change over the last few years.
Meredith Hector, Knight's program director in Bradenton, wrote an op-ed that was published in the Bradenton Herald this morning. Here's a taste:
Soul of the Community is a study of perceptions. Unlike the latest unemployment figures, we can change what people think and how they feel. That is why we can be experiencing one of the worst economic declines in recent memory, and still have a large percentage of residents who love where they live.
In addition to publishing thoughts from our program directors in the 26 Knight communities, we’re also reaching out to other local civic leaders. These remarks come from an email interview with Johnette Isham, Executive Director of Realize Bradenton.
What jumped out at you from the results of the study?
Soul is a feeling, feeling deep within
Soul is not the colour of your skin
Soul is the essence, essence from within
It is where everything begins
So declares Van Morrison in “Soul” on his “Keep it Simple” album, released in 2008. That’s the same time the Knight Foundation launched its project to find the “Soul of the Community” in 26 cities, including Bradenton.
Manatee County’s determination to diversify the economy and attract new business received a major boost this week. Bradenton’s top ranking in a Gallup study, funded by the Knight Foundation and entitled “Soul of the Community,” should help convince business prospects that this is indeed the right place to locate their enterprise.
Great schools, affordable health care and safe streets all help create strong communities. But is there something deeper that draws people to a city – that makes them want to put down roots and build a life?