The importance of community building

“Community Building” often feels like a buzzword, but when neighbors get intentional and begin to act on behalf of their community, it’s really powerful. Have you ever experienced that? How so?

While it might feel normal to be isolated from neighbors these days, a community is really only as strong and deep as its communication. Isolation simply does not work well for neighborhoods over the long haul no matter what the economics and demographics are for a community. This doesn’t mean we all need to be extraverted best friends, but only that a lack of communication will increase the likelihood of neighborhood decay.

This is very real to me because I believe philosophically in the ideas mentioned above, and I am also a practitioner. Last Saturday I was able to partner with residents in my neighborhood to plan a clean-up for a stretch of county-owned land near Light Rail tracks. There were 25 or so neighbors, and in just a few short hours we built a fence and spruced up a patch of land that needed some loving. The result? This cleaned-up site can now be a catalyst for pride, and is a small win for neighborhood residents, the surrounding community and even property values.

What do you think sometimes hinders residents from working together to deal with neighborhood issues?

Community Building 101: In case it might be helpful, I wrote a series called “Community Building 101” a few years ago. If you are tinkering with the idea of how to begin to improve your neighborhood, this short mini-essay series might be relevant. Let me now what you think. Download HERE (pdf).

If you have any questions, or real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs in the Greater Sacramento Region, contact Lundquist Appraisal by phone 916-595-3735, email, Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to posts by email.


  1. says

    I have noticed in communities where people are more close-knit, schools and their fundraising programs do better. For example, in my hometown of Lawndale, CA, it was nearly impossible to go door-to-door selling our little candies and Christmas wrapping paper. However, when I turned 17 and moved to a small college town, I noticed the elementary school was better off. When they had a fundraiser, the whole community came together to make sure the students’ met their goals. Urbanization has decreased this sense of community, and therefore, we’ve seen an increase in economic troubles within schools and other public organizations. Not to mention, the environment had suffered and violence has increased with urbanized places. I know this is because it’s harder to keep hold of community values in an overpopulated area. With the world now at 7 billion human inhabitants, we will see great changes in human emotion and the ability to help one another because of overpopulation It will be harder to be a connected community.

    • says

      Thank you for such an insightful comment, Jasmine. It’s ironic to think the so-called “American dream” of owning a home doesn’t necessarily come with a connected neighborhood at all. Yet it’s often realtionships with neighbors that can either enhance a feeling of “home” or not. Great commentary on the school system.

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