A Neighborhood Improvement Journal - Summer 2021


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Neighborhood Improvement – Items of Interest



How to Create Commons-Friendly Neighborhoods


Battle lines are shaping up across American cities and suburbs today over urban density.  On one side stand neighbors and developers who explain that convenient transit, walkable communities, environmental protection and continuing economic growth depend on welcoming more people-per-acre to our communities. On the other side stand developers and neighbors who plead that everything we cherish about our communities is about to vanish in the wake of hulking mega-projects. But there’s a middle ground in this conflict-- which turns out to be quite a nice place to live. These are low- to mid-rise neighborhoods with high levels of density but a charming and convivial feel.




Sacramento’s Library of Things Shares More than Books

What if the next time you needed a sewing machine, or screen printer, or even a GoPro camera, you just went down to your public library and borrowed it? That’s the idea behind the Library of Things. The visionary project, which is located in the Sacramento library system’s Arcade branch, enables people to borrow goods just like they would a book—by checking them out with their library card.The project stems from the fact that people don’t need to own all the items they may need—they can access them through the library. Some libraries have been lending tools and toys for decades.



How to Build a Better Neighborhood

Even if we haven’t actually experienced it, most of us have nostalgia for that perfect neighborhood, the one where people know each other, help each other, hang out together.

So what is the one ingredient necessary to create that kind of vibe on the streets where we actually live now, today? Face time. Or in this case, porch time.


9 Annoying Things That Ruin Community Meetings, According to Absolutely Everyone

The old-fashioned town meeting might be the most democratic thing we do as a society, with its free flow of ideas, indiscriminate of class, race, and sex. Except when it’s not. Some residents’ voices are drowned out, facilitators and resident “experts” pull rank or refuse to listen to each other, and discussions devolve into shouting matches. Then, a meeting feels more like Jerry Springer than an exchange of ideas. When meetings go bad, it’s a deterrent to people getting involved in community processes, and ultimately a slight to civic engagement.




Finding a Healthy, Happy Cohousing Community that Fits Your Values

How does one go about locating a cohousing community that is a good personal fit? Here are my suggestions on how to go about finding a healthy, vibrant, and happy community.










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