Over the past year or so I’ve been reading about cities across the country building huge multi-story apartment buildings and telling everyone they just built a new community. “Community” couldn’t be further from the truth.
What they built was simply a whole bunch of apartments where the only real sense of community is the fact that the residents can afford to live there.
A community is a group of people who share common interests, values, or experiences. They often live in the same area and interact with each other on a regular basis. A huge affordable apartment building can be a community, but it is not always the case. There are a few reasons why people living in a huge affordable apartment building might not be considered a community.
Lack of interaction: In a huge apartment building, it can be difficult to get to know your neighbors. There are simply too many people to interact with on a regular basis. This can lead to a sense of isolation and loneliness.
Lack of common interests: People who live in huge apartment buildings often come from different backgrounds and have different interests. This can make it difficult to find common ground and build relationships.
Lack of shared experiences: People who live in huge apartment buildings often move in and out frequently. This can make it difficult to build a sense of history and shared experiences.
One huge exception to this lack of community is the VBC Giving Foundation’s Modular Homeless Community in Philadelphia.
It is possible for people living in a huge affordable apartment building to create a sense of community. However, it takes effort and commitment from everyone involved. Some things that can help to create a community in a huge apartment building include:
Organizing events and activities: This can be a great way to get people to interact with each other and build relationships.
Creating a shared space: This could be a community room, a garden, or even a simple gathering space. A shared space can provide a place for people to come together and socialize.
Promoting communication: This can be done through newsletters, social media, or even just by knocking on doors and introducing yourself. Communication helps to build relationships and create a sense of community.
Creating a community in a huge apartment building can be a challenge, but it is worth it. A strong community can provide a sense of belonging, support, and friendship. It can also make living in a huge apartment building more enjoyable.
Most of the current projects completed by cities don’t encourage anything from the tenants other than paying their rent on time. Even if the apartment building provides meeting and social rooms for the tenants, usually neither the tenants nor the city encourages community interaction in them.
What a shame!