HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Hutchinson Community Foundation, in partnership with Hutch Rec and Young Professionals of Reno County, is hosting a public discussion next week led by Katherine Loflin, Ph.D., an expert on place science.
The event will be at 6 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Hutchinson Art Center at 5th and Washington.
Officials say Loflin can help Reno County better understand how to strategically invest in public places in ways that will lead to local economic growth.
Loflin will present “Place Science: Loving Where You Live and Why It Matters to People, Places and Local Economies,” the place science and place-making framework.
Officials say that place science is the study of the relationship between people and a city, and place-making is the strength-based strategy by which places are optimized in key areas to foster that relationship for the benefit of people and places.
Following her talk, local resident-led place-making examples from the recent grassroots, grant-funded Raising the Flag effort that resulted in a new city flag and Hutch Rec’s Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative will be highlighted for lessons learned and gauge impact, as well as explore further opportunities to apply the place-science framework in the city.
Loflin is an award-winning and internationally recognized place-science expert. She has held leadership roles in some of the most groundbreaking place-science projects and research in the world. She was the lead consultant on the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s “Soul of the Community” project, a three-year Gallup study surveying 26 cities and 43,000 people that found social offerings, openness and aesthetics were most related to community attachment.
She is also the author of “Place Match: The City Doctor’s Guide to Finding Where You Belong.” She is principal of her own global consulting practice and a two-time TEDx speaker on place science. Loflin holds a doctorate in social work with a concentration in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously, she served as program director for the Knight Foundation in Miami where she guided the foundation’s annual investment of millions in the areas of civic engagement, nonprofit capacity building, program evaluation, community foundations, disaster relief and city-specific grant-making.