Urban planning community

Poll results: Are you civic minded?

Voters
26. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes. I've got my hand in the workings of a local civic group.

    12 46.15%
  • No. Who has the time? Who really cares?

    10 38.46%
  • I have too many membership cards to count.

    3 11.54%
  • I just got out of Gitmo. I'll show you "civic" minded.

    1 3.85%
+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41

Thread: Bowling Alone

  1. #1
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Capital Region, NY
    Posts
    1,429

    Bowling Alone

    Well, as I find myself getting older and wiser, I find myself becoming involved in community groups and such. Do a lot of people here go out of thier way to get involved in some of the traditional civic organizations? I've followed my grandfather's footsteps and joined the Knights of Columbus a couple of months back, I'm a member of the local AOH, get involved in the political process and campaigns and will be joining a board of directors for my school's alumni association. Or have these organizations seen thier best days years ago? Where is my time best spent (besides at a bar) for the civic good? I've always thought that being a good planner means being civic minded and involved...I guess that's why the work suits me.
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Sans Souci
    Posts
    5,265
    Rotary - for the country club lunch
    Elk's - for the free beer one of the barmaids gives me
    Used to do Kiwanis due to force.

    I've presented to every civic club in the region or so it seems.

    Geogplanner - did you read "Bowling Alone" by Robert Putnam? I'm halfway through "Better Together - Restoring the American Community".

  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by GeogPlanner
    Well, as I find myself getting older and wiser, I find myself becoming involved in community groups and such. Do a lot of people here go out of thier way to get involved in some of the traditional civic organizations? I've followed my grandfather's footsteps and joined the Knights of Columbus a couple of months back, I'm a member of the local AOH, get involved in the political process and campaigns and will be joining a board of directors for my school's alumni association. Or have these organizations seen thier best days years ago? Where is my time best spent (besides at a bar) for the civic good? I've always thought that being a good planner means being civic minded and involved...I guess that's why the work suits me.
    Being a baby boomer and in that generation which experienced its adolescence in the 1960s I spend a lot of time thinking about the role of the various civic clubs. The Moose Lodge sponsored my little league team, and the Masons, Shriners, Optimists, Elks, and other such clubs were a constant, though diminishing part of my neighborhood as a child.

    As a teen I thought they were silly, pompous, and served the purpose of reinforcing a very reactionary local culture. With distance and hindsight I can see the role they played in holding together the local civil culture.

    Having skipped two entire generations here, I'm not sure how much rebuilding the historic clubs can do. But I miss them, and if they can't reassert themselves, I wish some new set of similar organizations could emerge to carry on the good points of their legacy.

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    17,739
    If I recall correctly Putnam said that America had experienced another period of social duress during the late 19th century where we had millions of immigrants who came from myriad cultures and that the country responded by forming large numbers of service organizations around that time to both help people transition into the culture and also to provide valuable community services. I agree with much of what he says in the book, but I'm not sure Putnam has entirely correctly diagnosed all of the causes of the social ills we face. I believe he correctly identified a number of ways communications technology has adversely affected our society(ies) such as tv, but do not think he recognized many of the positive contributions this technology has made (like Cyburbia :-} ) which have in some senses expanded our scope of 'community' and interaction with others.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  5. #5
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve
    Posts
    3,387
    Before I started this 2.5 hours of daily commuting, I had time for membership in service clubs and service on boards of other nonprofits.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  6. #6
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2003
    Location
    at Babies R Us or Home Depot
    Posts
    1,260
    I would like to become a pro bono planner for my community association.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  7. #7
    I'm a dues paying member of our neighborhood association, but I stay an arm's length away from them to avoid any conflicts of interest (or appearance of same); I am on the board of our main street program; I am on the board of our urban enterprise association (both of which are volunteer, as opposed to ex officio positions).

    I'm not a member of any social clubs or service clubs. (I don't think they'd have me even if I wanted to join )
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,165
    It's tough for me right now, because I have a long commute (which sucks a alot of time) and where I live now is not very conducive to resident interaction.

    But in a week we are moving to a smaller muni. and I expect to get involved in some groups - neighborhood associations, historic districts, etc. I will start with one and see how it goes.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Sans Souci
    Posts
    5,265
    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    but I'm not sure Putnam has entirely correctly diagnosed all of the causes of the social ills we face. I believe he correctly identified a number of ways communications technology has adversely affected our society(ies) such as tv, but do not think he recognized many of the positive contributions this technology has made (like Cyburbia :-} ) which have in some senses expanded our scope of 'community' and interaction with others.
    Putnam did not set out to diagnose all of the causes of social ills. He was only looking at the causes of the decline of "community" as defined by interpersonal interaction, involvement and other activities that build social capital. If I recall correctly his findings suggest that urban sprawl and the long commute had far less of an impact on social capital then the impact of home entertainment, particularly television. He remains cautiously optimistic that the internet and e-mail will help reverse the trend of personal isolationism. There does appear to be a countertrend particularly in suburbs where megachurches have grown because people are looking for "community" in a sterile spread out automobile-oriented subdivisions. Putnam is well versed in urban planning issues as is evident in "Better Together" in which he provides case studies that demonstrate the power of social capital to make positive change in a communities quality of life.

  10. #10
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Jukin' City
    Posts
    16,456
    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    ....I'm not a member of any social clubs or service clubs. (I don't think they'd have me even if I wanted to join )
    What he said.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  11. #11
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 1998
    Location
    On the Mother River
    Posts
    4,555
    I was a Lion until I moved and the nearest club is 18 miles away.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  12. #12
          Downtown's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Under a pile of back issue Plannings
    Posts
    3,174
    I actually think about this a lot. Or at least used to before Baby Downtown got here. I loved being active on our local section of the APA board, and was on the conference committee, until I became pregnant. Now I feel a tad stretched between church obligations and my weekly planning/town board meetings, and our Comp Plan Advisory Committee is swinging into action soon.

    Once I'm done being barefoot and pregnant, and the kids are a little older, then I imagine my life will be a blur of PTA, Boy Scouts, Soccer Mom-ness, and going on class trips. sigh. I just can't imagine where I would fit in anything else.

  13. #13
    I don't do any communty stuff that isn't mandated by my job. I am exposed to enough meetings at work, when I am off work I prefer to do stuff that makes me happy and as selfish as it sounds, volunteering for civic groups doesn't make me happy. However, I would entertain offers to do something planning related like serve on some type of a committee or become a Plan Commissioner.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Sans Souci
    Posts
    5,265
    Does anyone belong to a card group, bowling league, have game nights, have a place to frequently "hang out"?

    Let's keep in mind that Cyburbians are not representative of the general public.

  15. #15
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    17,739
    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    Does anyone belong to a card group, bowling league, have game nights, have a place to frequently "hang out"?

    Let's keep in mind that Cyburbians are not representative of the general public.
    Yes, but consciously so. Since I am predisposed to introversion as it is, I definately need the contact. I confess that when I read Bowling Alone the thesis hit home. If left to my inclinations, I would probably evaporate in front of a computer screen playing 'Medeival Total War'. I might bother to go to the fridge every couple days or maybe the bathroom on Tuesdays but that's about it....
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  16. #16
          Downtown's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Under a pile of back issue Plannings
    Posts
    3,174
    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    Does anyone belong to a card group, bowling league, have game nights, have a place to frequently "hang out"?
    My MIL and I kick the pants off Rob and his dad in Pinochle on a weekly basis.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    1,460
    Volunteer? For the past 8 years that has been the only kindof work I have done! Once i get back in the employment line, waitaminnit I am in the employment line, I am sure to continue the passion.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    Does anyone belong to a card group, bowling league, have game nights, have a place to frequently "hang out"?

    Let's keep in mind that Cyburbians are not representative of the general public.
    I am in a softball league and we have been playing for about 7 or 8 years. We also have a group of guys that gets together for every Monday Night Football game and we also meet pretty regularly to play Mexican Train Dominoes. As for hanging out I usually hang out at the Irish Bar that we play softball for.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Floridays's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    South FL
    Posts
    766
    My former boss LOVED the book "Bowling Alone" and made the entire staff read it.
    I used to be extremely active in a number of orgs back home. Since coming to FL about 2 years ago, I haven't really been active in much. Am planning on volunteering for a wildlife refuge org whenever I get off my butt and do it!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Downtown Atlanta
    Posts
    894
    I'm active in my neighborhood association, working on creating a new splinter association because my neighborhood of surface parking lots is now becoming a neighborhood of high rise condos, also working on starting a neighborhood watch, am on my condo's board of directors, and participate in the neighborhood drinking club (ok, that's not an actual club but we do have regularly planned events so it might as well be a club).

    I'd love to be able to get involved in something like Wednesday night trivia at the local bar but since my ten minute shoe leather commute recently became an hour long subway/automobile commute, I can't fit anything else in. Hopefully I get reassigned to a long term project near home instead of this series of short projects in the sprawlburbs. If that happens, the pub dwellers will have to bow before my superior trivia knowledge!
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  21. #21
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    12,178
    My group is part of a religious group that helps civic causes. I am part of a young adults group for my church, but we have done a few projects to help raise money, or we have volunteered our time to a charity or other support group.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  22. #22

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Too antisocial/solitary-and I have enough night meetings. I am president of my tiny (9 homes) townhouse association, but because that involves grousing about not having enough money,m I can't say I enjoy that very much

  23. #23
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2003
    Location
    at Babies R Us or Home Depot
    Posts
    1,260
    [QUOTE=Gedunker]I'm a dues paying member of our neighborhood association, but I stay an arm's length away from them to avoid any conflicts of interest (or appearance of same)...

    I currently work for a State agency that doesn't have jurisdiction within Baltimore City. If I lived in the suburbs, I would have to keep low or refrain altogether.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Sans Souci
    Posts
    5,265
    Quote Originally posted by Downtown
    Pinochle
    Double deck, no 9's?

  25. #25
    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    Does anyone belong to a card group, bowling league, have game nights, have a place to frequently "hang out"?

    Let's keep in mind that Cyburbians are not representative of the general public.
    Joe's Coffee is a block from my house at Flat Shoals and Glenwood in Atlanta, so both
    my wife and I hang out there when we get a chance.

    On a more political note, I'm in East Atlanta Community Association and the Sylvester Cemetery Foundation. On a more remote level (where I don't have to actually go to meetings), I'm in Congress for a New Urbanism, League of American Bicyclists, Southern Bicycle League, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Atlanta Preservation
    Center, and Oakland Cemetery Foundation.

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Bowling
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 24
    Last post: 20 Mar 2010, 9:38 PM
  2. Help us name our bowling team!
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 22
    Last post: 08 Jan 2009, 4:27 PM
  3. Office Bowling Team Name
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 31
    Last post: 05 Sep 2007, 2:12 PM
  4. Halloween Bowling
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 26 Oct 2004, 1:09 PM
  5. Bowling anyone!
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 22 Jan 2003, 9:39 AM