Defining Community: What Types of Community are There?

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Defining community
Let's talk about types of community.

For a lot of people, community is a big deal. It’s not just a group of people that happen to live or work in the same place. There are more types of community than that. Here’s more on what is community.

Defining Community

It’s a group of people that we lean on when times are hard.

It’s people we get to know on a personal level, beyond taking in their parcels and helping in a crisis.

They’re a support system, and if you are lucky enough to live somewhere with a tight-knit community who has your back, you’re in a position of great wealth.

As a group, humans are generally selfish; we think about ourselves before others and sometimes that’s okay. But if things get rough, we need support and we need to be there for others and support them too. That’s the true definition of community.

Kinds of Community

The types of community go beyond the standard wave hello on the way to work. It’s coming together as a whole and making the local area safe. Also, it’s coming together and enjoying festivities and holidays, with the kids getting to know one other.

Your Neighborhood.

When you move into a new area, the first thing you look at is the neighborhood and whether it suits your lifestyle. You probable wouldn’t move with young children to a place where there are no other young children, would you?

If there isn’t an existing community in the neighborhood, then it may be time for you to put yourself out there and create that community yourself. Ideally you want to create a space that focuses on inclusiveness and generosity?

But the reality is that if you want to improve the community feel of the neighborhood, you’ll have to make an effort. That’s because most people like to keep to themselves; you may even have been one of them in the past. But creating a sense of community can help achieve the tight knit spirit that you so crave around you.

When local residents feel safe
Defining community and belonging. Photo by SU5749, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Geograph.

One way to strengthen the neighborhood community is to work together as a group to look after communal gardens and public spaces. Not only will you be beautifying the area, which can help increase your property value, but you’ll also benefit by forming friendships and getting physical exercise. For example, take turns to mow grass, cut down overgrown bushes, or sweep the pavement. 

Local Business.

Do you living in an area that has small businesses owned by local families? If so, you can offer support to them. If you’re one of these organizations then they’re sure to reciprocate the kindness.

Furthermore, when you buy from smaller, local businesses you’ll support the local economy. Maybe you’ll also help organize fundraisers to support another local family. See how you can raise money quickly here: http://www.the-fund-raiser.com/how-to-raise-money-fast/. By offering help to raise funds for another local business, you put yourself out there as someone who is generous and genuinely interested in a types of community.

Family.

Surprisingly, when defining community the family is an often overlooked group. But a solid family unit is one built on caring, compassion, and love. Each family member has their own qualities to bring to the table too. Perhaps your sister rocks at DIY projects or your mom has an abundance of empathy.

Also, perhaps the best things about types of community like family is that wonderful sense of belonging. For kids and adults alike, feeling that warmth of having a place to be yourself and receive support from others is huge.

Creating a Community You Want to Be In

In summary, there are 3 main types of community:

  • Family
  • Neighborhood
  • Business

Also, now you know ways to strengthen each of them. When defining community in general, the phrase ‘it takes a village’ has never been truer. For example, one of the biggest worries for a parent is not being able to let their children out to play because of an unsafe neighborhood. But thankfully it’s much easier to allow children to play outside and enjoy their childhood when you know that there’s a village watching them do it. And that can happen when what is community in your neighborhood involves the principles of safety and trust.

Being in a position where you get to be a part of defining a community instead of just someone who lives on a street is something to treasure. Not many people get the chance to look around and know everyone that lives nearby them, and it’s a sad fact that not a lot of people particularly want to, either. However, taking the chance to be a part of something bigger than yourself means that there’s going to be more to life than just ignoring the neighbors who live either side of you. 

17 COMMENTS

  1. I can only agree with you, Christy 🙂
    I had such a community, where I lived in Denmark, before I moved to Spain. That is one of the things, as I have been missing very much here. People live very isolated in each their houses and maybe they some day will greet you or maybe not. I’m stranger here, so I have to accept the way it is here. I don’t wish contact with people, who only wish themselves and their families as contacts.

  2. Hi Christy…

    Great article and I certainly have the community spirit active and alive on the Cul-de-sac where I live. A few times a year we set up in the green space in the center with tables and barbecues. When there is a need we all gather and pitch in to help…. great to see and be a part of…

    Hugs and all from Snowy Alberta

  3. Your environment feeds into who you are. It can’t define you but it will try. I have enjoyed a great environment most of my life and it only helped me to excel. Thanks for the great post. flightministries.com

  4. I totally agree. Even though I’m not fond of the city I currently live in (Saint John, New Brunswick) there is a good sense of community here and in my apartment building. We all know each other and have each other’s phone numbers in case of emergency. Makes you feel a little more secure when you’re part of a community.

  5. Great post, Christy. Your article very much reminds me of the neighborhood where I grew up. It wasn’t uncommon for traffic to have to go slow to accommodate a pickup game of softball or kickball played right in the street, and all the parents would watch out for each other’s kids. I think it’s really rare to find that level of camaraderie anymore.

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