What is a "Community"?

As communities based on proximate and personal relationships decline, the application of term "community" multiplies. Anand Giridharadas looks at the hijacking of the word and what its new applications say about our contemporary culture.

As one of the most-used terms in the planner's lexicon, and one that has its historic home in place-based definitions, the changing applications of the term "community" are significant for our profession and our communication.

"'Community' has become one of those words that should always have quotation marks around it," says Giridharadas. "Words get hijacked all the time, but this is one of those really violent, eight-country, stop-for-refueling hijackings."

"Place and shared experiences have fallen away from the modern understanding of 'community,'" he continues. "When people speak of the 'medical community' or the 'venture capital community,' they’re really describing people with common interests and not common values, history or memory. Community in this sense is less about having one another’s back, more about lobbying for the same things."

Full Story: Draining the Life From 'Community'

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.

Create 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.
$24.95
Planetizen Courses image ad

Looking for the perfect last-minute gift?

A one-year subscription to Planetizen Courses is the gift that will continue giving all year long.
$144