How do you define a community?
A social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage

Talking Points
  • A geographic area whose size should be determined by members
  • Includes economic, environmental, and social/cultural features of that area

The questions "What makes up a community?" and "How big is a community?" always come up when discussing sustainable communities. The simple answer is: "as big as it needs to be."

The more complex answer is that it depends on the community and the issues involved. In general, a sustainable community is a geographic area and includes everything in that area--human and nonhuman, animal, vegetable, and mineral. In some cases, political boundaries such as town, city or county limits might be most useful in delineating a community. In other cases, watersheds or other natural boundaries might be most useful. What is important is that the members of the community be involved in deciding the boundaries of their community and how to make that community a sustainable community.
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Copyright © 1998 Maureen Hart. All rights reserved.