This chapter explores a new approach to community development whereby places that matter to residents are identified based on combining the use of advanced software tools, social media data and community engagement. Using the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts as a test case, we first collected, analysed and then validated social media posts that referenced specific places in the city. The research suggests that real opportunities exist to better understand attitudes about place attachment through sentiment analysis of Twitter and Flickr data combined with a robust community engagement process.
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