Building a stronger sense of community is crucial for the transition to a more sustainable way of life. In the past, everyone belonged to strong local communities – everyone knew one another and it was normal to know all your neighbours. Few of us are lucky enough to be in the same position today. Though a sense of community is often still stronger in more rural areas, in cities, it is common for people to know not even their closest neighbours.
Communities can come in different forms. But forming community – both finding our tribes and connecting with those living closest to us – is important not only for our own health and well-being but also essential for the transition to a more sustainable way of life. Building community resilience depends upon forging closer bonds, and bringing people together. Collaboration and co-operation is key.
Building sustainability in communities means finding ways to forge connections – to bring divergent groups together and find common goals. Food can often be central to gaining that connection – something we all need and we all share.
Community gardens and collaborative growing schemes can often be the first step to creating more connected and empowered communities. Growing together and eating together can be a great way to connect with others, and focus on food production can also give communities the drive to work towards something together.
But food producing schemes are just the beginning. Community energy schemes, conservation and rewilding, time banks, shares and swaps, reuse and recycling projects… these are just some of the things that bring communities together and make them more resilient.
But these things don’t happen on their own. Individuals and communities have to step up to start the ball rolling. Search out schemes in your community, and, if they don’t exist – why not do something about it?