What defines a community? What makes a neighborhood feel like home?
These are very culturally dependent questions that get to the heart of one’s sense of attachment and place. The Culture & Assets section of this plan is an attempt at conveying the characteristics that make the North End of Lexington feel like home to so many.
In 2010, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Gallup Polling undertook “The Soul of the Community Survey” - a research project to understand what drives people's attachment to the place where they live. Lexington, Kentucky was one of the locations studied. It found that social connectivity, aesthetic beauty, and openness to new and diverse populations were some of the driving factors in the appreciation that Lexingtonians felt for their city.
While conversations about what drives attraction to place are important and interesting, it is difficult to pick out specific details that make people love a place, especially when they are sitting in a town hall meeting, or in a one-on-one interview.
In order to get at these granular details, the North Limestone CDC and the University of Kentucky took several groups of residents, business owners, and social service organizations on walks through the North End and asked them to use their senses to determine what they valued and what they did not value about the area. Despite the diverse and varied populations and perspectives in the neighborhood, their sentiments regarding the North End overlapped significantly.