Besides taking out the trash and being neighborly, there’s a lot more effort that each of us can put in to make our neighborhood a better place to live, areas safer, and our local community more welcoming.
Get your community together, and head these 10 small ways to make a big impact and improve your neighborhood.
1. Start a neighborhood library or book exchange
Nonprofit organizations such as Little Free Libraries movement have started efforts to create a free, book exchange program in neighborhoods and local areas. Join the literacy project by starting one in your community with a makeshift shelf. Anyone that donates a book of any genre, from children’s books to novels and biographies can take one from the collection. It’s a good way to expand your literary explorations while sharing the opportunity with those around you.
2. Plant a street tree or start a local garden
The urban landscape could always use more trees and lush greenery. After doing some research on the rules and laws (tree planting permits are a thing!) in your neighborhood, roll up your sleeves and get digging with your neighbors. Make good use of the unkempt patches of untended land around your streets by filling them with plants and flowers. This is a great community event where kids and adults alike can contribute.
3. Partake in a community art project
Another community project that would be popular among all age groups (children, teens, young adults, and elderly) is an art project. Public art can liven up entire streets, foster creativity in kids, and establish the current history of the neighborhood.
Several cities have undertaken such projects, including Philadelphia’s restoration initiative Mural Arts Program, which turned the city into a street art mecca, and Denver’s Crush Walls, an annual festival that revives the street walls of the former industrial neighborhoods.
4. Transform your porch
Your home isn’t just a place for you to live in. It’s also a part of the neighborhood aesthetic, from your stoop to your porch. Make the space around your home more welcoming with just a few finishing touches. Plants, pots, and accessories can make a huge difference in the mood of the streets.
Volunteering isn’t just a good way to give back to your community, but it’s also a valuable opportunity to build social networks and meet friends who share similar values. Get on VolunteerMatch and find areas of interest, whether it’s helping children and youth with their homework or taking care of rescue dogs at a shelter. Pitch in and make your neighborhood and city a better place.
6. Contribute to the Citizen app
If you live in its operating areas, then use the Citizen app and make your neighborhood a safer place to live. This neighborhood watch program provides real-time 911 alerts and sends notifications of any events around your area. Transparency and technology play a vital role in community policing and neighborhood safety, so join the movement in keeping the community safe and informed.
7. Shop at local businesses
Easy enough: take a look around your home and find local businesses to support. Not only do they provide the community with job opportunities, but they also reduce transportation costs and carbon emissions and invest in projects that improve the local community. Farmer’s markets are a great start, but try to patronize local coffee shops, restaurants, gift shops, gyms, bike shops, and even hardware stores.
8. Organize a block party
A fun way to get the community together to celebrate and meet each other is to organize a block party. Invite everyone! Pick a nice day, get the grills out, provide a face paint artist or musician, and get out on the streets. If you live at Common, you can request funding for all the necessities and make some great memories with your community.
9. Talk to your neighbors
Sounds simple, but we don’t do it enough! Getting to know your neighbors, and you’ll find that you have access to more resources, information, and help. A neighborhood becomes a community when everyone is looking out for each other, and that can only happen if you talk!
10. Live at Common
Common’s communal living means you will have a welcoming community from the day you move in. You, your suitemates, or your neighbors can undertake any of the above ideas to improve the neighborhood, and spread the love in your community in all major US cities.
Our buildings are located in neighborhoods with strong, friendly communities that are perfect places to create your life in the city. Take a free tour today.