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The Importance of Neighborhood and Community Gathering Places
Community gathering places are important in building social capital and helping neighborhoods and communities to be connected to each other. In a new blog post, Alex Zorach explores the ways in which these spaces have changed in the U.S.
The value of community gathering spaces:
Community gathering spaces build social capital, connecting people to each other. These connections, even those made in a casual, social context, have tangible economic benefits in terms of business networking.
Neighborhood layout and decline of community gathering spaces:
Newer suburban-style development has favored car-oriented development. The lack of walkability changes the type of interactions in such a way that hinders the formation of community.
Neighborhood churches vs. Church Shopping:
The phenomenon of church shopping, whereby people seek out a church that is the best "match" for their beliefs has led to a decline in the degree to which people attend churches in their own neighborhoods.
Semi-public, semi-private spaces:
People can use spaces in their homes, such as front porches and lawns, as half public, half private spaces which can help people in a neighborhood connect with each other.
Recommendations to promote community gathering spaces:
Ways to promote and support community gathering spaces include utilizing existing spaces, attending a neighborhood church even if it is not the closest match for your beliefs, choosing to live and shop in walkable neighborhoods whenever possible, supporting businesses that function as community gathering spaces, and considering buying a house or renting an apartment that has access to semi-public space.
Read the full post: http://zorach.wordpress.com/
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This blog is about ideas oriented towards changing the world. The blog emphasizes building consensus around common sense ideas. Topics tend to be focused on sustainability, which is often interpreted in a broad, cultural context.