Neighbourhoods are made up of people; some who live there, some who work in large institutions, and some who work in small shops; some who grew up there and some who came from other places, tens, hundreds and thousands of miles away. Neighbourhoods and other forms of community are the places where people interact, where ideas are born and where there is real opportunity to create meaningful change. But people in communities can also be disconnected from each other and even more disconnected from the systems that affect their lives.
The key to understanding neighbourhoods, or in fact any community, is understanding how the people are connected.
To get the most out of the efforts made to improve communities is to intentionally and strategically strengthen the links between and among initiatives and people. When information, ideas, relationships, supports and resources are understood and shared across the players in a community, talents and assets can be mobilized and combined in multiple ways. When people and organizations work together in different ways over time, they begin to foster a sense of shared identity and belonging. A shared narrative begins to develop, new ideas are sparked, and with good facilitation, multiple players from multiple sectors can all play a role in continuous neighbourhood improvement.
That is what the Connected Community Approach does. Take a deeper dive: Download and read The Connected Community Approach: What it is and why it matters