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01. 02. 03. 04.





coming together as a community thinking beyond today


involvement with intent


love your bubble

05. EVOLVE learning from history


UNITY From the beginning of time people have joined together to share their lives, this lead to the development of communities. Although a community consists of people in different age groups with varying interests, they are built upon the same ideal, unity. With unity there is power in numbers. Anything can be accomplished when there are like minded people working toward a common goal.



UNITY IN COMMUNITY the importance of sticking together Uniting with others allows tasks to be delegated to the most qualified participants. When individuals bring their special talents to the table, not only do they feel connected, but also useful. Inclusion is empowering and with it, amazing progress has taken place throughout our history. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. It has taken years of dedication and team work for our communities to be like they are today. We have more than town hall meetings and parades to unite neighbors. Our modern day villages are well equipped with transportation, recreation, sports, free events and so on.

Within the last few decades, neighborhoods have become just an area where people live. It’s much less common for people to personally know anything about the family next door. This can be devastating to society as a whole. It’s been proven that making a personal connection with another person, a quick hello or passing comment, promotes unity and doing the right thing in an extreme situation.


This level of respect is deep rooted in the Japanese culture. When this country was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami, the people stood together as one. There were no incidents of looting or greed. In other countries, people have progressively become more and more self centered and isolated. Looters run rampant in certain parts of the world. Natural disasters present perfect opportunities for these people to feed off of despair.


“A bag thrown into the street went missing” “In 2006, I traveled to Japan from America. In a small town one night, my brothers and I got into an argument — long story short a bag of my stuff gets thrown off the balcony. When I go to retrieve it about an hour later, it is gone. It had everything in it. Wallet, passport, camera, etc. The next day, we talk to the police. We were a bit embarrassed about what happened, so we said we had forgotten it in front of the building. The officer says “Right here?” He looks in a bush. “Hmmm...” walks to the corner, walks back. “Where did it go? If you left it here, it should still be here!” he says extremely confused. The next day we get a call. A cab driver found the bag on the street and had turned it in — nothing missing. The cops couldn’t even accept the possibility that it was stolen and they were right.”

1.­— dragon0196


“It could not be simpler:

great neighborhoods are friendly neighborhoods�



SMILE, WAVE & GREET OTHERS and you can brighten someone’s day It could not be more obvious: great neighborhoods are friendly neighborhoods. A smiling face, laughter in the air or a hearty hello can make all the difference between a good day and a dull disappointing day. Humans are social creatures, any chance to exchange greetings with acquaintances, or even strangers, makes us feel happy and safe. (lesstraffic) In simpler times, doors were left unlocked, children played safely in the street and people knew each other by name. Today we’re more leery to connect with our neighbors. We do live in a more complicate time, but there is no good reason not to know your community. We need to get back to the basics and unite with the people around us. Gandhi said it perfectly, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” If we start in our own backyard, a domino effect will begin that has the potential to change the entire world.



siblings living within a mile

one happy individual




+ co-resident or spouse

Source: Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, NY Times Magazine




next door neighbor



friend of friend of friend



friend of friend



friend living within a mile

If you are feeling happy, you can thank your friends. Happiness, it turns out, is quite infectious and can pass among people in a network. It’s most contagious when two people mutually acknowledge they are friends. But even if the friendship only goes one way, the joy gets spread.



MAKE GOOD USE OF SPACE open to others Little is better for promoting unity within a neighborhood than having a change of pace by spending time in the front yard. This is a perfect place to share a smile or short conversation with passers by. Simple interactions like these will create a pleasant environment one street at a time. When you travel around town, you’ll notice acquaintances you met on the front stoop. Everybody needs somebody, at some point, so why not start with your neighbors.

There was a time when it was normal, if not expected, to meet the new family on the block, and even bring them a pie. Take the first step and say hello when you pass your neighbors. The front yard is an amazing place to meet new people. You never know when it will come in handy to have friends around town. Barbeques will be better and the overall tone of your community will be more positive and inviting.


socialize and get to know your neighborhood



People are less likely to be out on the front porch or yard, enjoying a street view, and most importantly,getting to know their neighbors. We’ve moved the party to the backyard and indoor living spaces, isolating ourselves from others.

Distribute a “conversation starter� packet that includes a name tag, and basic information about connecting with others, like conversational skills, body language and the importance of eye contact. Local sponsors will have an opportunity to promote their businesses as sponsors and on community give aways.



Organized by local shops and organizations in honer of their community’s residents. This hand out is for both new and existing residents of a neighborhood. To encourage people to gather in the front and get to know each other.

Tool kit

THRIVE Communities are important to lives throughout the world. People rely on one another for things as basic as food, and as complex as surviving a disaster. There are several moving parts that help develop and maintain a successful neighborhood. People, programs, pride, politics, safety, historical references and future concerns are all running in tandem to create a pleasant place for people to reside and raise their families. In order to thrive, we must put our differences aside and unite as a human race. There are a vast number of dire concerns socially, environmentally and economically that we’ve allowed to be in the control of a few; when we already know that there’s power in numbers.





what we say and how we say it It is in sharing experiences that we, as humans, learn from each other. Until we open up to people around us, we’ll be isolated and detached from our communities. Until we open up to people around us, we’ll be isolated and detached from our communities. Connecting evokes a deeper vested interest in the well being. As we communicate, we will naturally begin to develop lasting bonds that will promote community growth. The human race is so diverse, it’s impossible to know everyone’s likes and dislikes. In order to have harmonious neighborhoods, we need to take the initiative to bring our thoughts to the table. If only certain people take initiative, the cares and concerns of other people will not be considered. Sharing our perspectives gives an even playing field for true progress and connection.

All humans have the same 206 bones in their bodies, yet, each person’s fingerprint is unique. The same goes for community; each are built upon the same ideals, but unique to their residents wants and needs.



SUSTAINABILITY the power of transition As defined by the EPA, sustainability calls for policies and strategies that meet society’s present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This is a fine line we must all tread. Recycling, eliminating pesticides, chemicals and lessening our personal footprints will allow our communities to stay clean and healthy. The ability to thrive is something we all take for granted. Places throughout the world don’t have clean running water or even enough food for their families. In our prosperous society, we need not be gluttons for Earth’s natural resources. Helping our children understand the importance of caring for the environment will ensure that fixing damage from previous generations will continue. Project 350 is an organization actively making strides to educate everyday people about how they can make an impact on environmental health right in their own communities. They’ve done extensive research and given us a goal to work toward. We’ve gone above the “safe zone” of CO2 in our atmosphere at our current 388ppm. In order to thrive, we must reach 350ppm and cut carbon 80% by 2050. (McKibben)


“Even if we do everything right it will take decades for the world’s oceans and forests to absorb the excess carbon we’ve already poured into the atmosphere.” – Bill McKibben


Major activist groups have approached global governments to start making a change as soon as possible. There has been progress made, but at this rate, life on Earth will deteriorate rapidly. Changes caused by industrialization and pollution are already evident in the atmosphere. Glaciers are melting, weather is changing and we continue to have extremely large scale man-made and natural disasters that scar the Earth’s surface. Some think that if things are as bad as professionals say, then what’s the point in trying?


New organizations, like Transition Culture, are popping up through out the world uniting forces with everyday people in order to begin making a real change. If big governments won’t listen, it’s time for us to take things into our own hands and make a difference. (Hopkins) When communities join forces and are responsible for their personal space, the world overall begins to heal. Changes in energy sources and food production not only reverses environmental damage, but also promotes economic growth for communities. We don’t have to wait for officials to give us the OK to change our futures, we can begin today in our own backyards.


clean up get involved



Litter accumulates all over towns, especially along highways. Regardless of the expensive fines associated with it, littering is still a major concern for wild fires and pollution.

To clean up polluted areas of town, merge generations and promote inclusion, organize events that take place in small town streets. Delegate tasks according to ability while aiming to empower other smaller groups to do the same.




Senior and youth groups, teachers, local officials, residents, shop owners, environmentalists and so on.

Bags, gloves, masks and T-shirts.

CONTRIBUTE The more we get involved and connect with the people around us, the better our lives will be. Events and programs made available at local community centers and public places are essential for neighbors to gather together, connect, socialize, philosophize and make their everyday lives exactly what they want it to be. If we each did our part to improve where we live, there’s no telling what we could accomplish. Having a voice and making a contribution to your neighborhood inspires future generations to carry on this important tradition.



POLITICAL VOICE speak up if you want to be heard When looking at yourself as one out of a nation’s worth of people, you’re more likely to leave it to the next guy to worry about things like voting and current issues. Locally, the proportion is drastically in your favor. If we don’t speak up and use our Town Hall as a sounding board for concerns we will never be able to move forward. Sometimes it takes a great debate to move past a major milestone. Local government provides all people in a community the opportunity to do their part and make a difference for future generations. Realizing the value of local politics, and the direct ability to make a difference in your everyday reality, will slowly effect the overall satisfaction across the community. When you truly pay attention to the beliefs and goals of local representatives, it makes it easier to determine whose voice is most like your own. The pyramid of politics starts with the people. This offers a priceless opportunity to create a trickle down effect that would impact life on a national level. As we accumulate successful communities, we improve the overall success of the nation.



SUPPORT LOCAL SHOPS saving the economy Mom and Pop stores, nationwide, support the economy. Locally owned stores and their success directly correlate to a community’s growth. If we took the extra 15 minutes to visit the local butcher, baker and candlestick maker instead of participating in one stop shopping at a mega store, we could drastically improve our surroundings. More money, means more amenities, programs, events and funds for children’s programs. To sustain a successful community we must be responsible and take care of Mother Earth. Organizing a community clean up event is a great way to meet neighbors and unite for a common cause. Take pride in not only beautifying your surroundings, but also lowering your neighborhood’s footprint. Beginning at home is a more manageable and satisfying place to make a difference in the world.




EDUCATION investing in tomorrow Children are the hope of our futures. With this in mind, as individuals we must do our part to ensure that they succeed in all areas of life. Studies have proven that when people unite within their communities to support education, in and outside of school, children succeed. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered a correlation between involvement and success, when schools partner with important members of the community. This is not limited to teachers and parents, it includes shop owners, coaches, neighbors, etc. (Epstein, 2) They’ve created a handbook filled with important information about using education as a tool to help our children thrive and unite communities. Activities and programs were created to help people get to know each other and take responsibility for our children’s futures. (174) Learning goes beyond what can be found in a book. Neighbors should take the time to do what’s right for the kids next door. Anything will do, an encouraging word, compliment or hello.



best use with adopted guerrilla concepts ISSUE


By now, we’ve learned that pointing fingers won’t get us very far. Taking it upon yourself to graffiti a mural or plant a flower garden in public spaces, are actions that normally get you in a lot of trouble.

Implement an annual Community Embellishment Activity. Using guerilla concepts, come together to embellish unused public space each season. Gardening and Mural painting actions. Major city circles, spaces and walls are used to display local artists’ work. A rotating period per artist, allowingpeople to spend time when they normally wouldjust drive by.




Artists and urban dwellers.

Event organization and promotion. Banners, and public transportation advertisement, to promote the artist of the month, being represented at a specific intersection

TAKE PRIDE Maintaining a community takes a team effort. We each have to do our part to help keep this machine well oiled. Funds need to come in, the environment needs to stay clean, people need to feel safe, kids must be educated and the list goes on. As individuals get involved they will begin to connect with the place they live and take pride in its success.



LOVE YOUR BUBBLE the importance of sticking together Parks and recreational areas are the number one destination when it comes to spending time outside of your home. For a stroll or a ballgame, people of all ages gather in green areas. Usually these places have spaces available for families to have BBQs, and other gatherings, in the fresh air. Local government helps to provide services that keep this area clean and manicured for most neighborhoods. With rising costs, and current economic struggles, it’s perfect timing to take pride in your community. As a united force more projects can be completed with less money. When government has help from the public, there’s more money to go around. People have joined forces, when there is not enough funding, to independently create parks and outdoor recreation areas. A little teamwork goes a long way. Abandoned spaces can easily be turned into a community garden or playground area for local children. Instead of allowing a perfectly good piece of land go to waste, work together to create a space that works toward sustaining life in your town.





FEELING SAFE security is important Having a safe place to live is a key contributor. to successful communities. When children are able to play, people can walk their dogs and neighbors watch out for each other, there will be a sense of peace that is obvious to outsiders. Town watch and designated safe houses are two important programs that need to be reactivated. Taking pride in maintaining a safe environment will not only give you peace of mind, but will help improve other areas of community like revenue and visitor attendance at events. In these times of economic distress, many people are con-cerned about the threat of rising crime in their communities. Fortunately, there are ways to help protect your home and your neighborhood from crime. From simple steps like keeping your doors locked to starting a Neighborhood Watch program, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent crime. Work with your neighbors to keep your neighborhood clean and orderly. Keep spare keys with a trusted neighbor or nearby shopkeeper, not under a doormat or planter, on a ledge, or in the mailbox. Set timers on lights when you’re away from home

or your business is closed, so they appear to be occupied. Illuminate or eliminate places an intruder might hide: the spaces between trees or shrubs, stairwells, alleys, hallways, and entry ways. With many law enforcement agencies cutting costs, it has never been more important for citizens to work together to prevent crime. (NCPC)




NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH keep a look out Since 1972, the USAonWatch-Neighborhood Watch Program (housed within the National Sheriffs’ Association) has worked to unite law enforcement agencies, private organizations, and individual citizens in a nation-wide effort to reduce crime and improve local communities. The success of the program has established Neighborhood Watch as the nation’s premier crime prevention and community mobilization program. Visible signs of the program are seen throughout America on street signs, window decals, community block parties and service projects. Programs like these, empower citizens to become active in community efforts through participation in Neighborhood Watch groups. (USAonWatch) It’s nice to know that someone is looking out for you, and to return the favor is equally fulfilling. Crime prevention programs use local funding and volunteer help to train people how to handle specific situations that might arise.




VOLUNTEERING providing for others Our lives are consumed with daily tasks that take up most of our time. We have to dedicate endless hours to our work, families and ourselves. An important factor to remember is giving back to our neighborhoods. We spend some of the most valuable hours in these spaces, our free time Taking pride in where you live and investing time to help maintain it, is essential to the growth of the community. Residents need to take advan-tage of the opportunity to create their reality. The more people take it upon themselves to invest in where they live, the better our lives will become. Taking the time to instill values in our children and teaching them the importance of giving back, will carry a community’s prosperity through generations. A good lesson to pass along, is that in order to sustain a successful community, we must be responsible and take care of Mother Earth today. Organizing a volunteer community clean up event is a great way to meet neighbors and unite for a common cause. Take pride in not only beautifying your surroundings, but also lowering your neighborhood’s footprint. Beginning at home is a more manageable and satisfying place to make a difference in the world.

basic need one neglected human right ISSUE


Public restrooms are an issue not only in 3rd world countries, but in well developed cities like NYC. Peeing behind a bush, or in a corner, has been made illegal, yet there is no place to “go� during offbusiness hours.

As a community, raise funds to install free, public, obstacle free, self cleaning bathrooms in centrally located areas. This will give everyone the ability to hang out as much as they want, with out having to run home to use the toilet or turn our streets into sewers that smell up the town.



City councils, politicians, minority organizations, ADA, differently able citizents, as well as parents with kids in strollers and elderls.

Awareness caimpaing. “Anti-peeing behind the bush� ad campaign on radio, tv and print.

EVOLVE It’s amazing what an individual can learn if time is taken to listen to the stories told by a person with a deep-rooted history in the community. Over a lifetime, the changes that have taken place in neighborhoods can be amazing and hard to believe. What was once an endless orchard full of blossoming fruit trees, has become rows of streets full of houses and storefronts. Senior citizens help keep younger generations down to earth andappreciative of the hard work done by people of the past. It’s important to remember where it all started and bring into our future the values, morals and sacrifices that were so prevalent along the way.



HOPE FOR THE FUTURE importance of children in community

Involving children in events around the community is a great way to create a sense of pride for where they live. Adults need to teach the importance of caring for other people. Caring can include, but isn’t limited to, a simple hello, picking up a piece of trash blowing in the wind or volunteering at a local fundraiser. Children are the hope of our future. Without their involvement and interest, the concept of community could become extinct. Children have the ability to use their imaginations to think “outside the box” in ways that adults often can’t. Sometimes the persistence and dreams of children come true and they are able to make a significant impact in their community. As the song says, we need to teach our children well. Kids are like sponges and soak up everything they see and hear. They’re living and breathing products of their environments, that will one day take over where we left off. They need to be lead by example, encouraged to dream and have the will to endure.





CONNECTIVITY reaching out to others Hillary Clinton once said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This statement is beyond true. It’s human nature for people to need contact with other people. In today’s society we are slowly but surely disconnecting from our neighbors. We feel like we live in our own bubble, which is great, to an extent. The more separate we live, the more our communities will deteriorate. Some people question the true value of knowing their neighbors, or being involved in the town where they live. If they took the time to see the bigger picture they’d understand that without unity, our progress would be slowed to a standstill. With each child born we’re given a unique opportunity to make a difference in the world. This tiny person is a clean slate, with an abundant ability to take their generation’s lives to the next level. They deserve the best of all of us, parents, teachers, neighbors and friends.



CONTROL YOUR DESTINY it’s all about the details We live in a society that is in fast forward. We don’t take the time to stop and smell the roses or say hi to our neighbors. This was not the case for generations. What nations were built upon, required teamwork and coexistence. Without these important factors, history may have played out drastically different. There is power in numbers. By sharing our experiences and joining together we can make tremendous strides toward global unity. Paying attention to the details is required in all areas of our existence. Discovering ways to evolve into a sustainable global community is critical for our Earth to thrive. Our futures are dependent upon working with our neighbors as a team, with respect and consideration. “It is about people taking a greater interest in their present and future needs; being more aware of the world in which they live; thinking about the way they really want to live, and getting stuck in to make that happen, in whatever ways work for them.” (Hopkins) Do your part by paying attention to the important details that work in tandem within successful communities. The sum of these small parts, equals abundant life and sustainability.




POWER THROUGH, UNITED the perfect formula Our goal should be to merge old fashioned values with an understanding of our history in order to promote a more positive current existence. We can learn a lot from our ancestors. We need to embrace the good, decipher what didn’t work and leave it behind. Reinstating what was once common behavior in our neighborhoods and applying this knowledge to our current circumstances will create a reality that has the best of both worlds. We must consider how our actions today, will affect future generations. If we merge the old and the new we will be left with the perfect formula for a community that will stay strong and thrive for generations to come. Melding the past and present allows for a unique tomorrow, full of hope, perspective and prosperity for all communities. Every generation has found the strength and courage to evolve into something unimaginable at the time. It’s our turn to pay attention to the details of our advanced society, remember the mistakes we’ve made in the past and evolve into tomorrow.

“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.” – Sandra Day O’Connor


effortless and get to know your neighborhood



Being able to read a map, and navigate a town or space, is a total completely different experienceif you have mobility disadvantages. The issue expands way beyond wheelchair users.

A simple, easy to digest, topographic map,based on effort levels. Physical pocket sized map, as well as smart phone applicationindicating accessible sidewalks, a thorough“google maps� like, where people can update situational obstacles.




Wheelchair users, elders, parents with kids on strollers, bikers, mobility impaired.

Pocket size map, devided by neighborhoods and smart phone application

bibliography “Home and Neighborhood Safety.” National Crime Prevention Council. 2011. 6 May. 2011. <>. “Residents Driving Change.” The Neighborhood Unity Foundation. 2009. 5 May. 2011. <>. “Welcome To” USA on Watch. 15 Apr. 2011. <http://>. Epstein, Joyce L.. School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press, 2009. Grafton, Carol. Trades and Occupations. New York: Dover, 1990. Hopkins, Rob . “Localisation and Resilience at the Local Level: The Case of Transition Town Totnes.” Transition Culture. 9 Apr. 2011. <>. McKibben, Bill . “Will this thing work? Will world leaders listen?.” 350. org. 13 Apr. 2011. <>.

graphic design Š joana cardsoso copy writing Š shannon moore email phone 408.608.8895 school aau, spring 2011 typography univers39 & apollo paper wassau 70lbs.

Understand Community  

unity in community, what brings people together, and how to better the neighborhood you live in. an interpretation to the motto live togethe...

Understand Community  

unity in community, what brings people together, and how to better the neighborhood you live in. an interpretation to the motto live togethe...