The Three Elements That Attract People to Place

Addressing Minneapolis business leaders last week, Katherine Loflin, lead consultant to the Knight Foundation's Soul of the Community Project, explained the key factors that drive people's attachment to a city and how to lure young professionals.
May 13, 2013, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Kent Wang

"These days, those people most likely to drive the growth of a city, namely young people between the ages of 25 and 34, have reprioritized," says Marlys Harris. "Quality of life registers high on their list of necessities. Corporations are finding that increasingly they have to sell talented recruits on the place where they would be relocating as well as the job."

"The young-people-seeking-quality-of-life notion has become the conventional wisdom of chambers of commerce around the country, which are scrambling to figure out what will sell their towns to those hoity-toity Gen X- and Y-ers, not to mention the so-called Millennials," she continues.

Loflin's Soul of the Community Project sought to dig deeper into what makes a community a desirable place to live. "The study looked at several factors that might give people satisfaction, for example, health care, schools, housing, highways, safety and so on," notes Harris. "But three surprising factors outweighed those practical considerations: aesthetics, social offerings and openness."  

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Published on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in MinnPost
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