Building Community

I was chatting with one the members of our Brighton Residents Association committee today. She is concerned that in one months time the team of 9 people will shrink to 4 as members move on, but that there is no one to replace them.

Recently a community survey sent to every house in Brighton (3500) got a return of 11. I can see our local residents assoc struggling to survive in this kind of atmosphere, but truth is that very few people want to buy into this kind of commitment and activity.

I am pondering why as I would guess it may be similar in your suburb.

Despite all the marketing about Brighton being ‘what a community should be’ there sometimes seems to be a general lack of interest in what is going on around the place as well as a general lack of desire to get involved.

Makes you wonder how sustainable these babies are I reckon…

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7 thoughts on “Building Community

  1. I wonder if people are afraid of having to commit to something big. Personally I’m much more likely to jump in if there’s explicitly no or low commitment required. That way, if it turns out to be a good thing or I see some benefits or whatever, I might commit more over time.

  2. Hi Hamo

    Re: the survey – how long ago was recently Hamo? Do you know how it was delivered?

    Thing is, I don’t recall seeing a survey in our letter box – and it is something we would’ve been interested in.


  3. Not sure what a residents association does/means It sounds like a homeowners assoc. here in US — which really do little more than police the rules. One neighborhood nearby fines people for brown patches in their grass — retic work would help prevent that I’m guessing. Got a job for you if you get to the US. I hope the BRA is concerned about more than brown patches. I’m doing a pre-neighborhood exegesis exercise (Thanks for the tip on the God Next Door book some time back) with our group at church this week. I’m going to be very surprised if many people know much about their neighbors/neighborhood. We seem to have become a people who are content to go to work then come home to our comfortable houses behind wooden privacy fences with little more than a passing glance/wave to those around us — unless there is a disaster (Hurricane Ike just came through here) and we are forced to help one another clean debrisfrom common areas.

  4. HI folks – Bruce I didn’t get a survey either! I think it went out with the Brighton Living newsletter.

    The residents assoc has been working with the develop to build the social capital of the suburb thru events, a local intranet and supporting activties for different sub-groups.

    It seems that like most suburbs once the first coat of polish wears off people are less interested in developing their new home.

    Personally I am involved in the community but don’t want that particular kind of responsibility nor the ongoing need to keep finding members for the association.

    I am wondering if there is a better way.

    BUt then anything takes effort on the part of people who are sometimes too busy, disinterested, or plain selfish to care.

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