Measuring Place Vibrancy in Three Massachusetts Villages After Arts and Cultural Interventions

Authors: John Delconte*, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Rod Warnick, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Mark Hamin, University of Massashusetts - Amherst, Elizabeth Brabec, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Suzanne LoManto, Turners Falls RiverCulture
Topics: Cultural Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Tourism Geography
Keywords: placemaking, place vibrancy, GIS, psychometric scale
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


The process of using arts and culture to achieve community development has been defined as creative placemaking (CP). Grantmakers originally thought that CP programs would lead to increased livability and vibrancy and began developing indicators to measure them. However, their draft indicators were too nebulous and efforts to develop them were halted. We revive that line of inquiry and have developed a novel way to measure place vibrancy (PV): as a human perception measured through a scale. For this pilot, longitudinal, field study, PV will be measured though the newly developed scale in three villages within the town of Montague, Massachusetts. One has received nearly ¾ million dollars in cultural funding over the last 10 years; one has not received cultural funding and will not be receiving new funding over the next 5 years; and one has not received cultural funding but will be receiving new funding within the next 5 years. The hypotheses are that baseline PV levels will be higher for the village that has been receiving funding than the other two villages, and that the village that will be receiving new funding will show the greatest increase over time. The scale will be administered as a hand-delivered paper survey to a census-based sample of households in each village. This is an interim report of the baseline levels for the three villages. Later assessments will be made yearly for the next five years. Results will be displayed graphically by census block with ArcGIS software.

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