The Greater Louisville Project is built on a foundation of three Deep Drivers: Education, 21st Century Jobs, and Quality of Place. We have reported widely on the first two, but Quality of Place has proven a more elusive concept.
In order to report a full picture of what life is like in Louisville, it is important we present how life is for all residents of Louisville. Thus, we are in the beginning stages of developing measures for what we mean by “Quality of Place.” The academic literature distinguishes between “Quality of Life” and “Quality of Place.”
While there is considerable overlap between the concepts, Quality of Place generally refers to the built and physical environment and is often used in the context of economic development (e.g., cultural events and housing availability, which might attract companies and highly trained workers to town).
Quality of Life, on the other hand, refers more often to the wellbeing of individuals and to what extent they are financially secure (e.g., poverty levels, housing affordability, food security). Naturally, our other Deep Drivers—21st Century Jobs and Education—have connection and influence in both Quality of Life and Quality of Place.
In reporting on the other Deep Drivers, we get a good snapshot of the economy of Louisville, but we do not get a full picture of how well our residents are faring within employment and educational opportunities. If we do not report on, for example, the percentage of children living in poverty or the percentage of our full-time workers who are making sub-poverty wages, we ignore much of the story. Thus, in the coming months, we will be presenting data and discussion on these areas and present a view of “Quality of Life” in Louisville.