Scott Doyon, a partner with Place Makers, recently posted Seven Keys to Stronger Community as a response to the question: “Where do we start?” This is not an exhaustive list, and he actually encourages readers to make suggestions for expanding,and they have. There is a good diaolgue in the comments section of his post. He states, “If you are looking to bulk up the strength of your community, especially in these times of limited resources, these are the areas that provide the greatest returns.”
1. Good governance
2. Walkable, connected, mixed-use character
3. Parks and gardens
6. Neighborhood-responsive schools
7. Tree culture
Kain Benfield’s wrote an article analyzing Doyon’s seven points. He said, “Scott has given us a good list. Mark Holland’s eight pillars of a sustainable community would add a healthy food system and economic development to the list.”
Does all this sound familiar? There is significant overlap with the Main Street approach and its guiding principles. These are proven concepts for building and maintaining strong communities. Thinking of your community, its strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats, what would you add to this list?