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Thread: Perception of "community" within the socioeconomic context

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Perception of "community" within the socioeconomic context

    Hey everyone, I am curious to hear your thoughts (or maybe you can point me in the direction of a paper exploring....)

    We continually hear that one of the strongest draws to certain neighborhoods is the Level of percieved "community" within this neighborhood. I am curious if there is any applicable relivance to understanding how different socioeconomic groups may feel towards their neighborhood, in relation to planning, particpatory design, ect.

    I have presented the idea to a professor friend of mine and she questioned how I could relate its relivance back to the planning profession.

    I have some ideas, but am just curious to see what all of you may thing.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    The more affluent the neighborhood is, the less important the notion of a "community" becomes, even though local institutions (churches, schools, family owned stores) remain a priority and an attraction to potential residents. But on a typical neighborhood street in an upper middle class to upper class neighborhood, you will probably see far less interaction among the neighbors than in less affluent neighborhoods.

    On that socioeconomic level people base friendships through their professions and institutions, and the neighborhood is primarily a place where one lives.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner
    The more affluent the neighborhood is, the less important the notion of a "community" becomes, even though local institutions (churches, schools, family owned stores) remain a priority and an attraction to potential residents. But on a typical neighborhood street in an upper middle class to upper class neighborhood, you will probably see far less interaction among the neighbors than in less affluent neighborhoods.

    On that socioeconomic level people base friendships through their professions and institutions, and the neighborhood is primarily a place where one lives.
    Your first sentence is a provocative generalization with more than a grain of truth to it. To further elaborate along a similar vein, if I may: the greater the wealth of a single individual, the less dependent they are upon communal ties to others. They can substitute raw financial capital to buy what they need, in substitution for the human capital that is available to an individual who is part of a strong community.

    It doesn't have to be this way, but it often is the case that neighborhoods become ghettoized by socioeconomic status. The wealthy live in their "gated communities" (ghettos of wealth), and the poor live in public housing (ghettos of poverty). These are extremes that tend to foster a climate of fear and a fortress mentality. In a free society with a market economy, community has the best chance of thriving when poor and rich in close proximity. In the U.S., private property has tended to be exalted, while public space has tended to be de*****ted. This harkens back to European Feudalism somewhat, and is largely responsible for the pervasive violence of American culture.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    The more affluent the neighborhood is, the less important the notion of a "community" becomes, even though local institutions (churches, schools, family owned stores) remain a priority and an attraction to potential residents. But on a typical neighborhood street in an upper middle class to upper class neighborhood, you will probably see far less interaction among the neighbors than in less affluent neighborhoods.
    Sorry guys, there is simply no intellectual or academic basis for this.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Anyone want to prove otherwise?

    The chief designer of Milton Keynes, a large British New Town (Lord Campbell of Easkan) retorted that he didn't select his friends from his neighbors, but from the institutions to which he belonged, and he felt that the residents of the New Towns would do so likewise.

    And I also do base this on how I grew up. My parents' friendships were not based on the neighborhoods where they lived, but based on their church, workplace, and other social institutions. In affluent neighborhoods children can and are the connection between neighbors, but not much beyond that.

    I should probably clarify my original post: the less important the *local community* becomes the more affluent as one is, because the more affluent one is, the more likely he/she is going to have connections to the greater world through memberships in various institutions. Their "community" will be less geographically fixed than a lower income resident.

    Quote Originally posted by gkmo62u
    Sorry guys, there is simply no intellectual or academic basis for this.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner
    The more affluent the neighborhood is, the less important the notion of a "community" becomes, even though local institutions (churches, schools, family owned stores) remain a priority and an attraction to potential residents. But on a typical neighborhood street in an upper middle class to upper class neighborhood, you will probably see far less interaction among the neighbors than in less affluent neighborhoods.

    On that socioeconomic level people base friendships through their professions and institutions, and the neighborhood is primarily a place where one lives.
    Sorry guys, there is simply no intellectual or academic basis for this.
    I think PennPlanner's observation has some basis when you think of all the middleclass housing subdivisions (on up to the upper classes) in this country where most people go straight from their house to their car and back again, and are rarely seen walking around on foot, where there is potential for them to talk face to face with someone else in the community outside on the street.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  7. #7
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner
    The more affluent the neighborhood is, the less important the notion of a "community" becomes, even though local institutions (churches, schools, family owned stores) remain a priority and an attraction to potential residents. But on a typical neighborhood street in an upper middle class to upper class neighborhood, you will probably see far less interaction among the neighbors than in less affluent neighborhoods.

    On that socioeconomic level people base friendships through their professions and institutions, and the neighborhood is primarily a place where one lives.
    I think affluence/socioeconomics has got nothing to do with "community/friendships"
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I cannot tell you how to find it, but I have seen reference to a study that showed proximity was a determiner of friendships, who you married, etc. I recall the study looked at things like who you sat next to in school, people in neighboring apartments (ie right next to each other instead of down the hall), etc.

    I would also agree that wealthier folks tend to have connections to a larger community and tend to view themselves more as "citizens of the world" rather than of a particular neighborhood. Nonetheless, I think upper-middle-class people do buy homes where they feel there is a sense of community -- something I have observed through my sister and her friends and which was very obvious to me as a vagabond military wife. I had a lot of trouble finding babysitters for evening and weekends because I didn't have personal connections and didn't have neighbors with 16 year olds trying to earn a few dollars. When I would visit her, she always knew whom she could call upon for stuff like that even if those folks were not counted as "close friends". Those aspects of a sense of community were largely invisible to my sister, who took them for granted, but stood out to me because of the stark contrast with my life.

    I have read snippets that indicate that a healthy sense of community for a neighborhood can often only be found in small, very pricey enclaves of walkable neighborhoods. I believe that "Death and Life of Great American Cities" (or whatever that exact title is) also noted a city is healthier when it has enough resources such that people can change jobs, go to college, and so forth without moving -- ie go through normal stages or human development and still remain in the same home. This builds human capital essential to the health of a community -- people who care deeply about the general area they live in (whether you define the area as "neighborhood" or "city" or some other increment) and who have great knowledge about the area because they have been there a long time.

  9. #9
         
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    Quote Originally posted by gkmo62u
    Sorry guys, there is simply no intellectual or academic basis for this.
    You're right, but since when did anyone allow a lack of empirical evidence to get in the way of a "good" story!?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner
    Anyone want to prove otherwise?
    The chief designer of Milton Keynes, a large British New Town (Lord Campbell of Easkan) retorted that he didn't select his friends from his neighbors, but from the institutions to which he belonged, and he felt that the residents of the New Towns would do so likewise.
    Just a quibble: 'Lord' Campbell of Easkan';s judgement on sociology and the social dimension of urban form might be considered, shall we say, debatable, especially when you consider Milton Keynes; a town so shabby that, despite being on the doostep of the richest, fast-growing metropoitan area in europe (and maybe the world) had to resort to advertising to attract investment/residents as recently as the 1990s.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    I have been to Milton Keynes, and it is a boring, fairly mediocre place.

    However, the point here was that Lord Campbell, an educated, affluent, professional who resided in a fashionable historic London square, made a point on how he didn't select his friends from his neighbors. The tragedy of Milton Keynes was that Campbell assumed his assumption would hold true for the towns' residents, who were predominately working class/lower middle class. Clearly, what works for one socio-economic class doesn't work for another.

    The point of the original question was how "community" is viewed in a socio-economic context, and the Lord Campbell example is an assertation that what comprises a "community" does vary up and down the socio-economic scale.


    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    Just a quibble: 'Lord' Campbell of Easkan';s judgement on sociology and the social dimension of urban form might be considered, shall we say, debatable, especially when you consider Milton Keynes; a town so shabby that, despite being on the doostep of the richest, fast-growing metropoitan area in europe (and maybe the world) had to resort to advertising to attract investment/residents as recently as the 1990s.

  12. #12

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    Off-topic:
    Question for you Luca or other UK residents:

    Is Milton Keynes, with its heavy government hand in intial planning and design, duller, shabbier or worse than say, Tyson's Corners or the Houston Galleria or inumerable prargons of The Market in suburban USA? Just curious

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Off-topic:
    Question for you Luca or other UK residents:

    Is Milton Keynes, with its heavy government hand in intial planning and design, duller, shabbier or worse than say, Tyson's Corners or the Houston Galleria or inumerable prargons of The Market in suburban USA? Just curious
    Not particularly. Somewhat uglier, I'd say. Somewhat more top-down. Suburbia itself, as you know, BKM, bears the ehavy imprint of US post-war regulatoiry/engineering/nuclear-war-centric impositions.

    There is no inherent reason why a publicly or rpoivately planned community ahve to be automatically better than teh other. I was jsut pointing out that anyone who is the 'creator' of MK is hardly an authority on the sociology of urbanism.

    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner
    I have been to Milton Keynes, and it is a boring, fairly mediocre place.

    However, the point here was that Lord Campbell, an educated, affluent, professional who resided in a fashionable historic London square, made a point on how he didn't select his friends from his neighbors. The tragedy of Milton Keynes was that Campbell assumed his assumption would hold true for the towns' residents, who were predominately working class/lower middle class. Clearly, what works for one socio-economic class doesn't work for another.

    The point of the original question was how "community" is viewed in a socio-economic context, and the Lord Campbell example is an assertation that what comprises a "community" does vary up and down the socio-economic scale.
    While many/most of my acquaintances in London are through my professional life, we have many friends in our middle-class neighborhood which is particularly useful and pleasant for my wife and kids. We know pretty much everyone on our stretch of road and regularly chat in the street. We've been to their house and there is definitely a sense of community. And this is in southern England, allegedly the most snooty and privacy-oriented community in the world (to hear the northern gits go on abaht it). I think the idea that only po' folks stick together or have a sense of community is classist.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    You yourself, by admission, are "middle class." How you view or determine a community is probably different from those higher up the economic scale (or even lower down the economic scale). That is the entire point of my post, what works for you didn't work for Lord Campbell, and vice versa.

    Another example would be the county families or the landed gentry (insofar what remains these days)~their community isn't centered around the local village at the foot of the manor's drive, but covers a much broader area to take in other estates or farms owned by their friends. The local village is not the source of friends or relations. But for a tenant on the estate, the local village is often the center of his "community."

    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    While many/most of my acquaintances in London are through my professional life, we have many friends in our middle-class neighborhood which is particularly useful and pleasant for my wife and kids. We know pretty much everyone on our stretch of road and regularly chat in the street. We've been to their house and there is definitely a sense of community. And this is in southern England, allegedly the most snooty and privacy-oriented community in the world (to hear the northern gits go on abaht it). I think the idea that only po' folks stick together or have a sense of community is classist.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    [QUOTE=PennPlanner]You yourself, by admission, are "middle class." QUOTE]

    Well, maybe I was being a bit modest

    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner
    Another example would be the county families or the landed gentry (insofar what remains these days)~their community isn't centered around the local village at the foot of the manor's drive, but covers a much broader area to take in other estates or farms owned by their friends. The local village is not the source of friends or relations. But for a tenant on the estate, the local village is often the center of his "community."
    True; those these days there would be a strong community involvement by the 'lord of the manor' (and yes, they do still exist, here in Britain)
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    Aren't we all?

    Given my experience with the few landed families I know, the local village is not the source of the entire "community" for that family. Often there are friends in other villages, other estates, towns, and of course, in London itself. School friends from boarding school days are scattered across the country and the world, as are fellow clubmembers from the London clubs . Friends from the stints working in London post-university tend not to live in the same village at the foot of the drive.

    The lord of the manor may take a benevolent interest and duty in the affairs of the local village, but it is not the source of (for many, if not most) of them, his "community," to the extent that it is for an agricultural worker on the estate or a long term tenant farmer. The lord of the manor has broader horizons, for the most part, because of the economic and social classes to which he belongs.

    In the postwar years in America, it wasn't uncommon to have "corporate" families, that is, families where the father worked for a certain large company, and every few years or so he would be relocated to a new city. The corporation often encouraged the notion of the "corporate family" and loyalty to the corporation over the local physical communities, which wasn't so hard to do considering how most of the mid-level executives lived in monotonous upscale housing developments. The corporate man drew his friends from his professional world, and his wife often found her friends from the other wives of executives in the corporation. It provided a stability of sorts that could endure as the family was routinely relocated from city to city. A few months ago the New York Times had a feature article on the "Relo" class, the class of affluent, rootless Americans who move every few years at the whim of their corporations, and one of the aspects the article covered was the approach to the local community (or lack of). The featured wife in the article talked frankly about how she abstained from putting down more roots such as joining a church or getting involved in a charitable organization because, after all, in a year or so the family would be relocated to a new city.

    In working class families, relocations almost don't occur. It is more common to stay in one place for a longer period of time, and this simple factor means that the working class family is able to interact with the local community to an extent that the more affluent corporate executive and his family can't. Furthermore, studies have shown that the more affluent the family is, the less important the *family* becomes, that is, a working class family is likely to maintain stronger ties to other family members outside the immediate unit, in-laws, cousins and so forth, all of whom help provide some sense of a security net under precarious economic conditions. For working class families, the community to which they belong to is closely intertwined with relatives.

    For affluent families, the need to rely on other family members beyond the unit is less pressing, and often because of educational and professional choices, affluent families will live scattered, brothers across the country from each other instead of across the street, cousins disappearing into the oblivion of yearly Christmas cards. Furthermore, in today's age, professional, educated, people are more likely to make several significant moves during their lifetime, moving to other cities to pursue greater career opportunities. Although new roots may be put down, it isn't to the same extent as a person living in the same town as his father and grandfather did. The community, that is, what defines a community, does vary from socio-economic group to socio-economic group, as well as from subsets within each socio-economic class.


    [QUOTE=Luca]
    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner
    You yourself, by admission, are "middle class." QUOTE]

    Well, maybe I was being a bit modest



    True; those these days there would be a strong community involvement by the 'lord of the manor' (and yes, they do still exist, here in Britain)
    Last edited by PennPlanner; 25 Jan 2006 at 6:59 PM.

  17. #17
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    The Association with a Community...

    Intent shapes the things we do. This causes us to meet people that we need in our quest to fulfill these intents. They're the people we work with towards something. This is where we would like to see like-minded people, who contribute to and complete someone's work. Someone's ideas. At work, we would feel isolated from people with different wages, people who think contrary to what everyone else thinks, as opposed to alternatives. We feel isolated by cubicle walls and other artificial restraints. This is where true collaborative tools can help shape a community in this context. They include your usual corporate tools.

    - Community is shaped by equality (Census data)
    - Community is shaped by the ability to work together (Corporation Equality Index)

    Belief shapes what we trust in, what we rely on, and what we think the future and our future will be like. This is where we would like to see people help me, and allow myself to trust someone else. This is the bit where faith comes in. We don't necessarily want to share our beliefs with people of the same religion, but with people who's outlooks on life are similar to ours. Religion is surprisingly irrelevant when you've got a great many of them within a small community. No one cares. We like to trust what is familiar to us. This means that we will continue to use brandnames that we are familiar with, that we feel inherently at first more comfortable at Woolworths than at Aldi, Windows rather than Linux, Car rather than Bus, even if it comes at the expense of a group's definition of community.

    - Community is shaped by a common outlook on life and the future (Political or Religious Afilliation)
    - Community is shaped by what we know and are familiar with (Corporate Identities, Branding, Arts and Media)

    Resources shape the form a community will take. When we see Water around us, we build boats. If we don't have trees around us, we use clay to build houses. If we know how to make paper, we will write books. Geography shows us how we should form and shape our houses, roads or railways. Mining or other strongly localised industries, for example, gives us a purpose to work towards, the wealth of a community.

    - Community is shaped by Natural Resources given to us and the shape the land around us takes (GIS)
    - Community is shaped by what we can have and what we will do how with these resources (Local Manufacturing & Importing)

    Preferences give us something to fall back on that is complementary with beliefs. They make us more efficient are more comfortable by keeping with an established pattern of the things we do. They make us happier, since we don't have to learn something new or deal with anything odd that may surprise us. We don't like venturing into strange areas, if we have a pathway around them that leads us straight to where we want to go and where we have gone before.

    - Community is shaped by the routes we take through it (Transport Planning)
    - Community is based on how it looks and what we perceive is right and proper to us (Urban Planning)

    Needs include the urges we might have. The need for privacy, for silence, for a place for our children to toil in trees cheerily and stereotypically smilingly happy. It is also a part of the description of how the goods we consume and throw away. And, it is marked by our inherent need for socialisation. This includes places where we can partake in our common society and glorify ourselves and our community as ignorant as that may be. Needs also allow us to meet people and to make each other happy.

    - Community is shaped by the needs we have as individuals (City/Council Services)
    - Community is shaped by the necessity of socialisation (Museums, Nightclubs and other cultural services)

    Problems with Community:
    - It can reach a critical mass and then becomes a society in itself (The foundation of the US was first determined by like-minded rich white people)
    - Size will increase the standard deviation from the norm (Again, the United States serves as an example)
    - Hierarchy happens beyond a certain size (United States, Public Governance)

    (I used Wikipedia as a guide)

    So, many Museums, Nightclubs. Good civic services. Proper and sensible (for the local community) Planning. Good information gathering and consistent economic trade. Complementing Religious and Political beliefs. Broad Middle Class. And fair and equitable corporations.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by quink
    The Association with a Community...

    Intent shapes the things we do. This causes us to meet people that we need in our quest to fulfill these intents. They're the people we work with towards something. This is where we would like to see like-minded people, who contribute to and complete someone's work. Someone's ideas. At work, we would feel isolated from people with different wages, people who think contrary to what everyone else thinks, as opposed to alternatives. We feel isolated by cubicle walls and other artificial restraints. This is where true collaborative tools can help shape a community in this context. They include your usual corporate tools.

    - Community is shaped by equality (Census data)
    - Community is shaped by the ability to work together (Corporation Equality Index)

    Belief shapes what we trust in, what we rely on, and what we think the future and our future will be like. This is where we would like to see people help me, and allow myself to trust someone else. This is the bit where faith comes in. We don't necessarily want to share our beliefs with people of the same religion, but with people who's outlooks on life are similar to ours. Religion is surprisingly irrelevant when you've got a great many of them within a small community. No one cares. We like to trust what is familiar to us. This means that we will continue to use brandnames that we are familiar with, that we feel inherently at first more comfortable at Woolworths than at Aldi, Windows rather than Linux, Car rather than Bus, even if it comes at the expense of a group's definition of community.

    - Community is shaped by a common outlook on life and the future (Political or Religious Afilliation)
    - Community is shaped by what we know and are familiar with (Corporate Identities, Branding, Arts and Media)

    Resources shape the form a community will take. When we see Water around us, we build boats. If we don't have trees around us, we use clay to build houses. If we know how to make paper, we will write books. Geography shows us how we should form and shape our houses, roads or railways. Mining or other strongly localised industries, for example, gives us a purpose to work towards, the wealth of a community.

    - Community is shaped by Natural Resources given to us and the shape the land around us takes (GIS)
    - Community is shaped by what we can have and what we will do how with these resources (Local Manufacturing & Importing)

    Preferences give us something to fall back on that is complementary with beliefs. They make us more efficient are more comfortable by keeping with an established pattern of the things we do. They make us happier, since we don't have to learn something new or deal with anything odd that may surprise us. We don't like venturing into strange areas, if we have a pathway around them that leads us straight to where we want to go and where we have gone before.

    - Community is shaped by the routes we take through it (Transport Planning)
    - Community is based on how it looks and what we perceive is right and proper to us (Urban Planning)

    Needs include the urges we might have. The need for privacy, for silence, for a place for our children to toil in trees cheerily and stereotypically smilingly happy. It is also a part of the description of how the goods we consume and throw away. And, it is marked by our inherent need for socialisation. This includes places where we can partake in our common society and glorify ourselves and our community as ignorant as that may be. Needs also allow us to meet people and to make each other happy.

    - Community is shaped by the needs we have as individuals (City/Council Services)
    - Community is shaped by the necessity of socialisation (Museums, Nightclubs and other cultural services)

    Problems with Community:
    - It can reach a critical mass and then becomes a society in itself (The foundation of the US was first determined by like-minded rich white people)
    - Size will increase the standard deviation from the norm (Again, the United States serves as an example)
    - Hierarchy happens beyond a certain size (United States, Public Governance)

    (I used Wikipedia as a guide)

    So, many Museums, Nightclubs. Good civic services. Proper and sensible (for the local community) Planning. Good information gathering and consistent economic trade. Complementing Religious and Political beliefs. Broad Middle Class. And fair and equitable corporations.
    thank you.. that was what i was looking for...

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    I couldn't agree with PennPlanner more. Here's a list of moves among my immediate family in the last 2 years:

    1. Three months in Warrenton/Culpeper (D.C. suburb), VA, three months in Canton, OH, two months in New York, NY, two months in Dublin (Columbus suburb), OH, and now Cleveland, OH.

    2. One of my cousins, a neurologist, is moving from San Francisco to New York. Being a doctor in a specialty like that requires you to pack up and move to a place not of your choosing, much like the relo families PennPlanner describe.

    3. My other cousin, the owner of a retail consulting company, continues to travel on a weekly basis to her clients which are scattered about the country.

    4. My brother and sister in law, both data warehouse/B.I. consultants, moved from Weehawken, NJ to 40 miles from Brisbane, Queensland, where they live in the middle of nowhere and work from home.

    5. My father recently remarked that his current abode is the longest he's ever lived in one place (ten years). My parents and brother assume they will have to move in the next few years. It's just a way of life for us.

    That sums it up for all my cousins and siblings. We're a mobile family. For me, living in the same place for twenty years sounds frankly unbearable and I think I'd go crazy after a few years. Community is something I find quickly, usually amongst friends at work; having family spread out across the globe helps, since I usually have a contact at whatever new city I go to. I try to find a church close to work or my temporary apartment as fast as I can so I can meet some people and find things to do in the evenings.

    If I want to see my family or friends, I either drive a lot or fly over the weekend. On the other hand, I've never had to commute on a regular basis for more than a few miles.

    My wife, on the other hand, lived in the same CDP for her entire life. It's difficult to change from knowing all your neighbours (I was surprised to see this happen in a middle-class suburb 10 miles from the nearest major city, but I guess it still does). We're lucky to be living in a traditional urban neighbourhood right now, but the idea her old friends are an hour away (even ones she doesn't like) is a major adjustment.

    I'm not sure which kind of lifestyle is better. Living in a small community your whole life leads to narrowmindedness, but frequent relocation leads to alienation and a lack of a connection to anything. I'd probably have made a larger contribution to the social capital of a community if I'd ever stayed in one for longer than five years. The same goes for the rest of my affluent, frequently-relocating family.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    danger - threadkill alert!

    I had been avoiding this thread for the simple and bad reason that I am so sick of the word "community" - if someone says "sense of community" one more time in a meeting, I'm going to flip - don't you think that word is overused?

    I think the harsh reality is that a sense of community really depends on the people. I live in the anti-christ of good planning - a subdivision whose 1 mile road dead ends (but is planned to extend further, good for planning, bad in many owners' minds on the street) and all the lots are about 2 acres + with a ribbon 3 acres wide of open space surrounding us -

    all the bad news about this type of neighborhood not having a sense of community is patently false - the street has a book club, a friday night informal supper club, progressive dinners, tupperware/silver jewelry/kitchen stuff parties and the kids roam between the houses/yards on bikes, foot or cross-country skis - people that don't participate in these things (and it's only a couple of lots) are the type of people that either keep to themselves (perfectly fine) or they are jerks anyway so who cares -

    community means, imho, that people will combine to connect with other people on the level they feel comfortable with and with the type of people they feel comfortable around regardless of what we do with zoning or what type of development they live in

    we have a neighborhood in town that appears in a drive-through, idyllic - all the lots are about 10k, sidewalks, small front yards, porches, shared drvieways - but you know, just about everyone hates each other - it's incredibly sad how many mediated sessions I have had to have under the umbrella of Appeals Board hearings -

    the beauty about planning, to me, is that it's really about the people - the built environment is secondary to the people

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