I am a huge fan of the blog Newgeography. NewGeography.com is a site “devoted to analyzing and discussing the places where we live and work. We want to know not only what is happening, but also how you, your company and your community can best adapt to rapidly changing conditions. We welcome your writing, your thoughts on the site, and your insights on economic development, metropolitan demographics, and community leadership.” I subscribe to this blog and get an email each time there is a new post on the site.
Joel Kotkin is the blog’s primary author. You can click here to see his published works, including videos on The Next Hundred Million or his report “Enterprising States 2012” to “see how your state ranks in economic performance and in the five policy areas studied in the report.”
There is also a long list of contributors to the Newgeography blog, which offer varied and interesting analysis of many things both rural and urban.
Today’s contribution, Communities Need to Build Better Millennial Connections, is by Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais, co-authors of the newly published Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation is Remaking America and Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics and fellows of NDN and the New Policy Institute.
Here are a few paragraphs to lure you into clicking on the Newgeorgraphy blog.
by Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais 03/05/2013
“A remarkable, but mostly unnoticed, 2012 study found a powerful correlation between a community’s civic health and its economic well being. The analysis by the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) and its partners found that the density of non-profits whose purpose was to encourage their members’ participation within the community correlated strongly with the ability of a locality to withstand the effects of the Great Recession. The same analysis revealed that those municipalities having the greatest amount of “social cohesion,” defined as “interacting frequently with friends, family members, and neighbors,” also showed greater resilience in ameliorating job losses during economic downturns, independent of the density of their non-profit sector.
“The numbers are startling. States with high social cohesion had unemployment rates two percentage points lower than their less connected counterparts, even controlling for demographics and economic factors. A county with just one additional nonprofit per 1,000 people in 2005 had half a percentage point less unemployment in 2009. And for individuals who held jobs in 2008, the odds of becoming unemployed were cut in half if they lived in a community with many nonprofit organizations rather than one with only a few, even if the two communities were otherwise similar. Given these results, every community interested in improving its economic vitality should be devising strategies to increase the civic health of their locality.
“…Communities interested in enhancing their social cohesion should take a close look at the example set by the civic leaders of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Under its Kalamazoo Promise program, families that enroll their children in the local school district get help with college tuition on a sliding scale based on how many grades of education the child completes in the city’s schools. The strategy, which has led to greater demand for housing within the school district’s boundaries as well, encourages the development of a community with a wide range of educational success among its residents…”
Click here to read the whole article.