While it seems intuitive that a community characterized by beauty and green spaces might be attractive to residents, researchers are now establishing the critical nature of aesthetics to community attachment and well-being. In fact, extensive research conducted by Gallup and The Knight Foundation for the Knight Soul of The Community project has shown that aesthetics is one of the three most important qualities in determining community attachment. Beauty, along with openness and social offerings, was consistently rated by residents as a key driver for community attachment ahead of other areas such as local economy, leadership and safety.
These important findings buttress additional research conducted recently. (See for example this study conducted by Richard Florida for the Martin Prosperity Institute.) The research conducted Soul of the Community Project has also shown that that beauty and the other key drivers of community attachment also correlate highly with local economic growth. So for community leaders looking to inspire passion and loyalty in residents as well as growing the local economy, fostering policies and programs that lead to good aesthetics and green spaces is a great place to start.