Strengthening our Neighbourhoods

Submitted by JaniceSW on May 25, 2012 - 9:07am
Shifting think patterns

Our city-wide resident led London Strengthening  Neighbourhood Strategy is now in its 3rd year of implementation.  With our year  2nd celebration of successes and achievements, last month, we continue to see the commitment, involvement and leadership of residents in moving their 5 year action plan forward.  Londoner’s are proud to of their city and “want to continue to grow and evolved in positive ways which match the needs of all residents and neighbourhoods”.   Resident passion is engaging them in initiatives such as Walk-to-Shop, Million Tree Challenge, Active and Safe Routes to School, Adopt-A-Park and percolating wonderful ideas and projects through the SPARKS! Neighbourhood Matching Fund.  With the launch of our new Neighbourhood website “neighbourgoodguide.ca” residents can now share,post and promote events, news and the ‘Little Gems’ of their neighbourhoods. Another unique way to get all residents involved in the city wide strategy.

Now the quandary.....These ‘early adapters’ continue to engage more of their neighbours and interest groups becoming involved in their neighbourhoods, yet they are challenged as are we (community developers) to shift the mind set of many who do not see themselves as participants who can affect, participate and lead change in their own neighbourhood.  How do we shift the common think patterns of; ‘my neighbour will do it’ that doesn’t mean me’, ‘I can’t make a difference’?  

Working with a colleague on an environmental project she said she needs to engage  “ A Citizen’s Army” to do a half days volunteer work in 6 area parks (residents only need to volunteer in the park in their area = 3 hours).  The ‘army’ is only about 15 people per park, this shouldn’t be a difficult challenge ………but it is!   What are you doing in your communities to shift the ‘not me’ mantra?