Getting neighbors together for community events does more than prevent crime, according to the Project for Public Spaces.
"Tuesday August 7 [was] National Night Out, a red-letter day in thousands of towns and cities around the country. Up to 30 million people will take to the streets and parks, with no one calling the cops. Indeed, local police departments organize these block parties, cook-outs, and music events as a practical method to fight crime. The idea is that communities are safer when neighbors get to know one another and work together on solving problems."
"But crime is not the only major problem facing us that can be effectively addressed at the neighborhood level. So can the environment, economic decline, traffic, social alienation and even global climate change. People are more likely to get involved on issues that affect their own backyard, and where they can see the effect of their actions. When you add up the people from all over the world who are walking more and driving less, starting new businesses and citizens groups, or simply reaching out to meet their neighbors, the results can be impressive."