Ears to the Ground

So far we have held a number of meetings with local residents  to discuss what the word ‘community’ means to them, discuss personal experiences and perceptions and discover how best to overcome problems within the community. We’ve conducted interviews in a wide range of settings with people between the ages of 20 and 90, including (neighbourhood residents, local government officers and community groups). we have captured peoples thoughts through one-to-one and group discussions. We have also been travelling in ans observing the geography and human activity of the areas, visiting various public spaces and markets, malls, car parks, and taking many photographs.  Some of the things we have noticed so far include:

– The impact of transport routes, industrial estates and other architecture- the way this can physically divide communities and prevent people from associating with each other.  It has become apparent that transport defines the community boundaries and defines how people have to travel to get in and out of a community.

–  The cultures of sharing in different communities, sharing of resources, goods, ideas, spaces, time.

– The cultures of listening and being able to talk that are so important in helping people feel they belong.

–  The impact of working lives and commuting that fragment traditional communities.

– People are made to feel welcome, and welcome each other into the community by simply talking and listening. Unsurprisingly friendliness has emerged as a key contributing factor in a strong sense of community

–  Questions have emerged about the definition of working class.  Working class is no longer as defined as it used to be what does working class mean now?

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