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May 08, 2012

Placemaking: A Blueprint for our Future

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Watch the video filmed by Brian Wimer

Download Download the presentation

On April 26, Charlottesville Tomorrow held its annual community conversation. This year’s topic was “Placemaking: A Blueprint for our Future.” Over 130 community members turned out to hear Dr. Katherine Loflin present her findings from the Knight Foundation's Soul of the Community project on how attachment to place drives a community’s economic vitality – and how understanding those attachments can direct the ways in which we as a community choose to change and grow.

The top-4 attachment factors (full study):

  1. Social offerings
  2. Openess
  3. Aesthetics
  4. Education

If you weren't able to attend, here's a little background: The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Gallup recognized that there had long been a connection between employee satisfaction and business productivity, and they wondered if the same could be applied to communities. So they set out to see if there was any connection between people’s general feelings of satisfaction about where they lived and the overall productivity and economic health of a community.

The resulting study of 26 communities, called the Soul of the Community, ended up drawing clear parallels between what they call “attachment drivers” and the growth of a local economy. Purposefully emphasizing those drivers in community-wide decision making and keeping place central to decisionmaking is what they call placemaking. Download the latest results from the project here.

At Charlottesville Tomorrow, we view ourselves as conveners of a conversation. We want you to get involved and make an informed choice. We think clearly understanding what makes our community special in a way that acts as a context for the decisions we make about how we change and grow is important; to that end, over the next few weeks we'll be bringing you commentary from people who attended the event and want to share their thoughts on Placemaking in this community.

20120426-audienceOver 130 community members turned out to hear
Dr. Katherine Loflin present her findings from the
Knight Foundation's Soul of the Community project
Panel_1A local panel, composed of Kathy Galvin, David Sloan
Paul Beyer, and Andrea Douglas, responded 

Photo credits: Rich Tarbell

This event was made possible by the generous support of the
Charlottesville Area Community Foundation and
the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

CACF_logo Kflogo-300x50

Listen using player above or download the podcast:
Download 20120426-Placemaking



  • 00:01:07 - Introduction by Michael Bills, Chairman, Charlottesville Tomorrow Board of Directors
  • 00:05:20 - Presentation by Dr. Katherine Loflin
  • 01:01:00 - Panel introductions and discussion
  • 01:24:22 - Audience questions


View photos by Rich Tarbell on Flickr


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