We read and hear more and more about efforts towards capacity building, community development, neighborhood improvements, social capital… But are any of the theories translating into real change? It’s disheartening when we see examples of community tensions everyday (1.3). That said, studies have shown that neighborhoods that are tightly connected recover faster and easier from disasters, so why wait until a disaster to connect?
Ok, maybe YOU know and love your neighbors, and personally aren’t experiencing anything that could use any improvements that you can see when you open your door. “Neighborhood” is something to which we all have a personal connection, and many of our own personal experiences conflict with ‘scientific’ findings of increased isolation. But there are always way to create deeper connections, to the people around us, the nature, the history of our place.
We believe improving local connections and relationships makes an incredible difference in strength of our neighborhoods (1.4) What is one way you can make a deeper connection to your community today?
We invite you to join us in the discussion! Start by commenting below!
And, say hello to someone today!
-- Cyndy Carlson, PE, PhD
(1.1) Putnam, R. (1995). Bowling alone. Journal of democracy, 6(1), 65-78.
(1.2) Sander, T. H., & Putnam, R. D. (2010). Still bowling alone?: The post-9/11 split.Journal of Democracy, 21(1), 9-16.
(1.3) Allebeck, P. (2013). Social capital: much discussed, somewhat controversial, but more to do. The European Journal of Public Health, 23(1), 1-1.
(1.4) Labonne, J., & Chase, R. S. (2011). Do community-driven development projects enhance social capital? Evidence from the Philippines. Journal of Development Economics, 96(2), 348-358.