Local community
A local community is a group of interacting people sharing an environment. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.


A community has been defined as a group of interacting people living in a common location. The word is often used to refer to a group that is organized around common values and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household. The word can also refer to the national community or global community.
The word "community" is derived from the Old French communité which is derived from the Latin communitas (cum, "with/together" + munus, "gift"), a broad term for fellowship or organized society.

A sense
Senses are physiological capacities of organisms that provide inputs for perception. The senses and their operation, classification, and theory are overlapping topics studied by a variety of fields, most notably neuroscience, cognitive psychology , and philosophy of perception...

 of community refers to people's perception
Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs...

 of interconnection
In telecommunications, interconnection is the physical linking of a carrier's network with equipment or facilities not belonging to that network...

 and interdependence
Interdependence is a relation between its members such that each is mutually dependent on the others. This concept differs from a simple dependence relation, which implies that one member of the relationship can function or survive apart from the other....

, shared responsibility
Social responsibility
Social responsibility is an ethical ideology or theory that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large. Social responsibility is a duty every individual or organization has to perform so as to maintain a balance between the economy and the...

, and common goals
A goal is an objective, or a projected computation of affairs, that a person or a system plans or intends to achieve.Goal, GOAL or G.O.A.L may also refer to:Sport...


Understanding a community entails having knowledge of community needs and resources, having respect for community members, and involving key community members in programs.

Benefits of local community

The author Robert Putnam
Robert Putnam
Robert David Putnam is a political scientist and professor of public policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is also visiting professor and director of the Manchester Graduate Summer Programme in Social Change, University of Manchester...

 refers to the value
Value or values may refer to:Concepts of worth:* Value theory – overview of approaches in various disciplines* Value ** Value * Value ** Theory of value ** Value investing...

 which comes from social networks as social capital
Social capital
Social capital is a sociological concept, which refers to connections within and between social networks. The concept of social capital highlights the value of social relations and the role of cooperation and confidence to get collective or economic results. The term social capital is frequently...

 in his book “Bowling Alone: The collapse and Revival of American Community.” He writes that social capital “makes an enormous difference in our lives”, that “a society characterized by generalized reciprocity is more efficient that a distrustful society” and that economic sociologists have shown a minimized economic wealth if social capital is lacking.

Putnam reports that the first use of the social capital theory was by L. J. Hanifan
L. J. Hanifan
Lyda Judson Hanifan is credited with introducing the concept of social capital. Robert Putnam in his book, Bowling Alone credits a 1916 paper by Hanifan as the first recorded instance of the term...

, a practical reformer during the Progressive Era
Progressive Era
The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of social activism and political reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. One main goal of the Progressive movement was purification of government, as Progressives tried to eliminate corruption by exposing and undercutting political...

 in the United States of America. The following description of social capital is a quote from L.J. Hanifan in Putnam’s Book:
Putnam reported that many studies have shown that the highest predictor of job satisfaction
Job satisfaction
Job satisfaction describes how content an individual is with his /her job. The happier people are within their job, the more satisfied they are said to be. Job satisfaction is not the same as motivation or aptitude, although it is clearly linked...

 is the presence of social connection in the workplace. He writes that “people with friends at work are happier at work.” And that “social networks provide people with advice, a bonus, a promotion, and other strategic information, and letters of recommendation.”

Community engagement has been proven to counteract the most negative attributes of poverty and a high amount of social capital has been shown to reduce crime.

Local community and health
"Social connectedness matters to our lives in the most profound way." -Robert Putnam.

Robert Putnam reports, in the chapter Health and Happiness from his book Bowling Alone, that recent public research shows social connection impacts all areas of human health, this includes psychological and physical aspects of human health. Putnam say’s “…beyond a doubt that social connectedness is one of the most powerful determinates of our well being.” In particular it is face to face connections which have been show to have greater impacts then non-face to face relationships.

Specific health benefits of strong social relationships are a decrease in the likelihood of: seasonal viruses, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, depression, and premature death of all sorts.

Community sustainability

Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

 in community programs is the capacity of programs (services designed to meet the needs of community members) to continuously respond to community issues.

A sustained program maintains a focus consonant with its original goals and objectives, including the individuals, families, and communities it was originally intended to serve. Programs change regarding the breadth and depth of their programming. Some become aligned with other organizations and established institutions, whereas others maintain their independence.
Understanding the community context in which programs serving the community function has an important influence on program sustainability and success.
See table:
Sustainability elements Middle-range program results Ultimate result
Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". Other in-depth definitions of leadership have also emerged.-Theories:...

 competence. Effective collaboration
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...

. Understanding the community. Demonstrating program results. Strategic funding
Funding is the act of providing resources, usually in form of money , or other values such as effort or time , for a project, a person, a business or any other private or public institutions...

. Staff
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

 involvement and integration. Program responsivity.
Participant needs met. Confidence
Confidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Self-confidence is having confidence in oneself. Arrogance or hubris in this comparison, is having unmerited...

 in program survival. Effective sustainability planning
Planning in organizations and public policy is both the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan; and the psychological process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired goal on some scale. As such, it is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior...


Local economy

According to Washington State’s Sustain South Sound organization, the top ten reasons to buy locally
Local purchasing
Local purchasing is a preference to buy locally produced goods and services over those produced more distantly. It is very often abbreviated as a positive goal 'buy local' to parallel the phrase think globally, act locally common in green politics....

  1. Too strengthen local economy: Studies have shown that buying from an independent, locally owned business, significantly raises the number of times your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms—continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community.
  2. Increase jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally in the United States of America.
  3. Encourage local prosperity: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.
  4. Reduce environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This means contributing less to greenhouse gas emissions, sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
  5. Support community groups: Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.
  6. Keep your community unique: Where we shop, where we eat and have fun—all of it makes our community home.
  7. Get better service: Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.
  8. Invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
  9. Put your taxes to good use: Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
  10. Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

Suggested reading

  • A Guide to Community Visioning; Hands-On Information For Local Communities. Oregon Visions Project.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.