Re: Re: Erosion of Community ethos in new housing developments

Home Forums Ireland Erosion of Community ethos in new housing developments Re: Re: Erosion of Community ethos in new housing developments


Yes community spirit is dwindling in residential areas compared to a few decades ago. You identify transience as the cause: that houses are built too densely and too small to suit larger families. I think there are other reasons.

Communities form when people share an environment. They need to meet each other by chance during the day as they go about their daily business: shopping, recreating, going to work or school. In a 1970s style estate, the kind we are still building today outside every village in the country, there is usually no pleasant place to hang out. No park with benches. In the 70s, suburbia worked better due to lower car ownership. Commutes were shorter with less traffic. Kids walked to school or went on bike. Parents shopped locally. Mother walked from A to B. Now mammy is taxi driver. Kids can go to school further from home. Shopping is once a week in the regional megamall. You can get through a week without ever meeting any of your neighbours as you don’t share any space with them. People go to church less and the churches themselves are often barns with little opportunity for meeting anyone.

I live in a mature housing estate but I wouldn’t expect to see a neighbour during the day. the only community building thing that has happened is that a playground was built by the council so the parents do meet up there on the weekend.

Community can easily be built in 4-5 years. i have lived in city areas where I have felt part of the community within 12 months, despite a transient population.

What promotes community?
Density: by putting people closer together.
Shopping locally
Working or schooling locally
Walking artound the area
Local recreation facilities

What inhibits community?
Areas that rely on cars for all journeys as people move around in sealed bubbles.
Heavy traffic in dense areas inhibits community.
Fear of crime

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