From Experience Life, Intro by Jon Spayde
Real communities help us feel a part of something real, integrated, tangible. They deepen and refine our sense of place, bring out the best in us, and help us recognize, unquestionably, that we belong.
Community has the power to nourish and sustain us in countless ways — many of which science is only just beginning to understand. And for all these same reasons, a sense of community is something worth building, maintaining and holding dear.
Here are the top 7 signs of community. How does your neighborhood score?
1. People use sidewalks and public areas for meeting, conversation and play.
2. Parks are not just pristine green spaces to be admired, but places for use and enjoyment.
3. Pleasant and welcoming community gathering places (coffee shops, plazas) abound.
4. Local businesses, like independent bookstores and restaurants, support community life with bulletin boards, meeting space for local clubs, etc.
5. Auto traffic is not allowed to dominate the neighborhood; traffic-calming devices like speed bumps are in place where needed.
6. Non-elite arts institutions such as community bands, galleries and choirs thrive.
7. There’s ethnic, racial and generational diversity, and low levels of frenzy, anxiety, anger and fear.