Category Archives: Community

Free Community Capital Toolkit

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is offering a Community Capital Toolkit that can be downloaded free of charge from the BALLE website.

In case you’re not familiar with BALLE, here is a brief description of the BALLE vision and mission from their website:

Within a generation, we envision a global system of human-scale, interconnected local economies that function in harmony with local ecosystems to meet the basic needs of all people, support just and democratic societies, and foster joyful community life.

At the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, BALLE [bawl-EE], our work is focused on creating real prosperity by connecting leaders, spreading solutions that work, and driving investment toward local economies.

BALLE equips entrepreneurs with tools and strategies for local success, and we provide the national forum for the most visionary local economy leaders and funders to connect, build their capacity and innovate. …more…

Toolkit includes: The 20-page Guide to Community Capital
Seven FREE past webinar recordings
Access to a community capital library of resources

You can download it here.

Community-based, citizen-led solutions: Greece shows the way.

Regarding effective community initiatives, you might want to read this inspiring article from Der Spiegel about two Greek women in Athens who have done some remarkable social action things: People Power: Young Greeks Team Up to Combat Crisis.
This story shows what Greeks can do, and are doing, to make things better for themselves, aside from government policies and actions, by organizing “self-help initiatives to provide free medical care, repair street lighting and monitor public spending.”
The rest of the world might follow their lead. read about it here.

Neighborhoods and social capital, key features of a convivial society

The following appears in the August edition of On The Commons newsletter. Jay Walljasper suggests 25 Tips for Making Your Neighborhood Better.–t.h.g.

The neighborhood is the basic building block of human civilization, whether in a big city, small town or suburban community. It’s also the place where you can have the most influence in making a better world. Jay Walljasper, Senior Fellow at OTC and Project for Public Spaces and author of The Great Neighborhood Book, has studied neighborhoods around the world and come up with this list of how to make your community more livable and lovable.

These suggestions are focused on strengthening the sense of community and spirit of the commons by providing people with ways to come together as friends, neighbors and citizens. That creates a firm foundation that enables a neighborhood to solve problems and seize opportunities.

This is drawn from a presentation he gives regularly to community, civic, academic, professional and business groups. For more information, see Jay

1. Give people a place to hang-out

2. Give people something to see

3. Give people something to do

4. Give people a place to sit down

5. Give people a safe, comfortable place to walk

6. Give people a safe, comfortable place to bike

7. Give people reliable, comfortable public transportation

8. Make the streets safe

9. Make the streets safe—not just from crime but from traffic

10. Remember the streets belong to everyone—not just motorists

11. Don’t forget about the needs of older neighbors

12. Don’t forget about the needs of kids

13. Let your community go to the dogs

14. Reclaim front yards as social spaces

15. Remember the best neighborhoods, even in big cities, feel like villages

16. Plan for winter weather as well as sunny, warm days

17. Don’t fear density—people enjoy being around other people

18. Don’t give up hope—great changes are possible when neighbors get together

19. Build on what’s good in your community to make things even better

20. Remember the power of the commons: people working together for the benefit of everyone

21. Never underestimate the power of a shared meal to move people into action

22. Start with small steps—like planting flowers

23. Become a community booster, watchdog, patriot

24. Learn from other neighborhoods in your town and around the world

25. Take the time to have fun and enjoy what’s already great about your neighborhood