Neighbourhoods are the places that we live. They consist of houses, shops, cafes, schools, community facilities, parks and gardens. And most importantly, our neighbours.
While the built environment and the facilities our neighbourhood possess are crucial to the flourishing of the places that we live, it is the people in the neighbourhood and the cultivating of relationships between them that brings life to the neighbourhood. As people gather around a common, wholistic vision, working together for the betterment of the neighbourhood, community facilities, the built environment, and access to important services can even be improved and bought to life.
John McKnight & Peter Block in their book, “The Abundant Community”, list 7 neighbourhood necessities, all of which require relationships to be central to the neighbourhood’s flourishing:
1. Safety & Security produced by active neighbourhood participants
2. Health & Wellbeing driven by social connection in the neighbourhood
3. The Wellbeing of Children as grown ups within the neighbourhood take responsibility to model positive adulthood
4. The Environment & The Land as the community works together and takes responsibility for the natural environment in which they live
5. An Enterprising Economy where the neighbourhood is the centre of new business opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners
6. Food that is produced and eaten locally
7. Care that comes from relationships and connection within the neighbourhood
By working together in these seven spaces, we can create neighbourhoods that are safe, healthy, connected, and sustainable – cultivating neighbourhoods that thrive!