Search Results for "better-together-restoring-the-american-community"

Better Together

Better Together

Restoring the American Community

  • Author: Robert D. Putnam,Lewis Feldstein
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • ISBN: 9781439106884
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 336
  • View: 2850
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In his acclaimed bestselling book, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Robert Putnam described a thirty-year decline in America's social institutions. The book ended with the hope that new forms of social connection might be invented in order to revive our communities. In Better Together, Putnam and longtime civic activist Lewis Feldstein describe some of the diverse locations and most compelling ways in which civic renewal is taking place today. In response to civic crises and local problems, they say, hardworking, committed people are reweaving the social fabric all across America, often in innovative ways that may turn out to be appropriate for the twenty-first century. Better Together is a book of stories about people who are building communities to solve specific problems. The examples Putnam and Feldstein describe span the country from big cities such as Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Chicago to the Los Angeles suburbs, small Mississippi and Wisconsin towns, and quiet rural areas. The projects range from the strictly local to that of the men and women of UPS, who cover the nation. Bowling Alone looked at America from a broad and general perspective. Better Together takes us into Catherine Flannery's Roxbury, Massachusetts, living room, a UPS loading dock in Greensboro, North Carolina, a Philadelphia classroom, the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, naval shipyard, and a Bay Area Web site. We meet activists driven by their visions, each of whom has chosen to succeed by building community: Mexican Americans in the Rio Grande Valley who want paved roads, running water, and decent schools; Harvard University clerical workers searching for respect and improved working conditions; Waupun, Wisconsin, schoolchildren organizing to improve safety at a local railroad crossing; and merchants in Tupelo, Mississippi, joining with farmers to improve their economic status. As the stories in Better Together demonstrate, bringing people together by building on personal relationships remains one of the most effective strategies to enhance America's social health.

The Great Neighborhood Book

The Great Neighborhood Book

A Do-it-Yourself Guide to Placemaking

  • Author: Jay Walljasper,Project for Public Spaces
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers
  • ISBN: 1550923420
  • Category: Political Science
  • Page: 192
  • View: 3580
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Abandoned lots and litter-strewn pathways, or rows of green beans and pockets of wildflowers? Graffiti-marked walls and desolate bus stops, or shady refuges and comfortable seating? What transforms a dingy, inhospitable area into a dynamic gathering place? How do individuals take back their neighborhood? Neighborhoods decline when the people who live there lose their connection and no longer feel part of their community. Recapturing that sense of belonging and pride of place can be as simple as planting a civic garden or placing some benches in a park. The Great Neighborhood Book explains how most struggling communities can be revived, not by vast infusions of cash, not by government, but by the people who live there. The author addresses such challenges as traffic control, crime, comfort and safety, and developing economic vitality. Using a technique called “placemaking”—the process of transforming public space—this exciting guide offers inspiring real-life examples that show the magic that happens when individuals take small steps and motivate others to make change. This book will motivate not only neighborhood activists and concerned citizens but also urban planners, developers, and policymakers. Jay Walljasper is a senior fellow of Project for Public Spaces (PPS), whose mission is to create and sustain enriching public places that build communities. He is a former editor of The Utne Reader and currently executive editor of Ode magazine. Inspired by European cities, The Great Neighborhood Book highlights practical solutions for the revitalization of North American cities.