What determines the level of attachment people have to their communities? And how do those levels of attachment and community satisfaction affect local economies? These are big questions that cross the boundaries of urbanism, economics, sociology, and psychology.
For the past several years, the Gallup Organization, in partnership with the Knight Foundation, has conducted a substantial multi-community survey called "Soul of the Community." I worked on earlier versions of the survey and reported some results in my book Who's Your City? Here's a link to the study's website.