Community Dynamics: Stoking or Choking Collective Planning Efforts?

Does your community allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good? Scott Doyon kicks off an ongoing look at community-unfriendly behaviors.

In terms of community development, the armchair critic is not benign. Our cynical know-it-allness doesn't just predict failure. It ensures it. Scott Doyon explains:

"Community fascinates me. Not just the idea of it, but the dynamics, and how those dynamics end up stoking or choking our collective efforts to be together. Having worked in a lot of different places, I’ve had opportunity to study community in action, at both its strongest and weakest, in all different contexts — economic, political, cultural — and have tried to identify patterns that lead to results."

"It’s not about kumbaya or chamber of commerce photo ops. It’s about survival. I, together with a growing body of research, view the relative strength or weakness of community ties as an indicator, perhaps the most critical indicator, of resilience. Not unlike John Michael Greer who, in his handy post-industrial how-to, The Long Descent, asserts 'the community, not the individual, is the basic unit of human survival. History shows that local communities can flourish while empires fall around them.'"

This blog is first in a series about the factors that tend to tear down community, with today's topic exploring the effects of: "Measuring success against impossible ideals rather than achievable goals."

Full Story: Corrosion of Community: Impossible standards as an excuse for inaction


Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.