We’re part of the Abundant Communities Initiative!
I’m sure they’re laughing at me. I just filled out the survey for an Edmonton magazine to name the best neighbourhoods in the City and nominated Boyle Street. My friends say I’m optimistic to the point of being delusional. But, hey, I love Boyle Street. It hurts me when I hear people who come from other places say this is a rough area but they come for the Chinese food. It hurts me even more when I hear people who live here run our neighbourhood down.
So what makes a great neighbourhood? Edmonton place a high value on river valley access, playgrounds, parks and walk ability. We have that and more, we have great people.
As more high-rise condos are being built, I hope that the people who move here for the views will take the time and interest to explore the neighborhood at ground level. The coffee shops and grocery stores that we currently lack will come as our population increases. If we manage to retain out spirit of inclusiveness, we will be acknowledged by everyone, not just people like me, as the best neighborhood in the City.
In the meanwhile we want to foster the sort of community here that will attract more people. We are starting the Abundant Communities Initiative to work towards that goal.
Sociologist John McKnight says, “Building community is more than occasional, tangible events like holding picnics or doing a group service project. It involves the more fundamental tasks of rearing a child, promoting health, and keeping the streets safe. To fulfill these functions in a satisfying way, a community needs certain properties. A competent community has three properties:
1. Focus on the gifts of neighbours
2. Nurture associational life
3. Offer hospitality, the welcoming of strangers”
1st In order to “focus on the gifts” of our neighbourhood, in the next months we would like to find out from you about your visions and dreams for our neighbourhood, the passions and pastimes which occupy you and the gifts, abilities and experiences your household possesses. To do this we want you to make these a topic of conversation with a neighbour who will be contacting you as your ‘block connector’.
2nd As way to “nurture Associational Life” within the neighbourhood we will be renewing our effort to inform neighbours of others with common interests or complementary gifts. There are gifts, skills and experiences that neighbours are willing to share with others. Such skills as basic computer operation, playing guitar, and yoga. Experiences such as immigrating, parenting and illness. This is your chance to tell us who you are, what makes you tick.
3rd As a neighbourhood we want to continue the kindness that encourages people to be open and hospitable. We welcome the gifts of neighbours previously unknown into our community.
No one should feel the pressure to join, but we want everyone to receive the invitation to belong.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 780-424-6029 if you can help.