Bradenton's aesthetics count for a lot with residents. Photo: Dawn Ashley @Flickr.com
By Vin Mannix in The Bradenton Herald, Nov. 18:
What do State College, Pa., Grand Forks, N.D., and Boulder, Colo., have that Bradenton doesn’t?
A. Joe Pa’s dynastic football program.
B. Bitterly cold winters.
C. The Rockies.
All true, but they weren’t the reasons Bradenton, ranked No. 1 last year in the Soul of the Community Gallup poll, came in fourth this year, albeit out of 26 American cities.
Commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami, the report surveys how citizens of a community feel toward where they live, what it offers them and what they give back.
State College, Grand Forks and Boulder went 1-2-3, though only by hundredths of a point.
According to Katherine Loflin, lead consultant for the Soul of the Community Project, their citizenry identified more strongly with three main factors that emotionally attach them to their community:
- Aesthetics and social offerings -- An area’s physical beauty and fun places to go.
- Openness -- How welcoming a place is to senior citizens and new college graduates.
- Education -- From K-12 to universities.
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