To Build Better We Must Collaborate as a Community
At ACB Consulting, we strive to serve the communities in which we work. Of course, things have changed over the last 12 months. Post-COVID, what might community improvement look like?
We all desire community improvement
Our ethos aligns with what people want from their communities. We want to help make them safe places, in which children and adults can thrive. We want to help create vibrant neighborhoods where people are trusted and can live, work, learn, and play with no fear.
How do you build better communities?
We believe that it is crucial to involve a community to build a community. The people that live together and create together share common interests and experiences.
In the new normal, it is even more crucial that we create communities that combine to deliver positive outcomes, irrespective of pseudo-divisions along lines of race, religion, gender, or disability. It’s a collaborative experience in which we all play a part.
Leading the community partnership
When we work in a community, we aim to raise awareness of what a community partnership can achieve. For example, when we help to deliver a school construction project, we seek to create a meaningful partnership with those most closely impacted by the project. This includes:
By engaging the wider community, efforts to establish community improvement are more effective and, ultimately, more successful. People don’t destroy what they help to create.
Successful partnerships deliver real impact
A community lives, evolves, and grows. Where the community is engaged in a collective goal, it has the potential to deliver real and lasting impacts. The difference that policies can make to this impact are astounding. Take one disadvantaged adult and give them purpose, and you create a positive experience that helps to shape the hope of the whole community.
Deliver a project using local tradespeople and local suppliers, and you breathe life into many. The knock-on effect to the local economy can be dramatic, as the positives begin to cascade throughout.
Partnerships must be inclusive
It is crucial that we develop inclusive partnerships within communities. A diversity of ideas is the best way to deliver the community improvement we all seek. All parties should be represented, with all views listened to.
Grantmakers and local government have a key role to play in fostering greater community in our neighborhoods. They can:
Direct funding to specific targeted groups
Bring people together by creating a collective goal
Award additional funding to help community groups realize their goals
Let community give planning its context
When planning construction and development, wouldn’t it be better to let the community direct the context of development?
Listen to what the people say, and deliver projects that are influenced by a community’s hopes for the future and that gain support of the community. Deliver these with adequate financial resources, policies, and practices to create specific targeted outcomes. This route will create benchmarks for further improvement across all facets of a community – including health, law and order, educations, and the local economy.
Creating change to improve community
COVID-19 has taken much from us. Much has been spoken about the new normal. But what is this fabled new normal?
We believe that we can create a new normal aligned to how communities want their neighborhoods to develop. We have the chance to create a vision of community set by the community, and deliver this through the projects we undertake and the strategies we use to deliver them.
COVID has given us all the opportunity to regroup, reflect, and revise how we think and do. Community improvement must have its foundations in the foundations of the community – families, businesses, schools, and employers.
Each community is unique. It has its own specific challenges to overcome. Each is diverse in its own way. We should bring this diversity to the table with every project we undertake. This requires courage from all those involved. It takes leadership, compassion, empathy, and foresight.
Together we can deliver the promise of the new normal. First, we must realize that this promise is ours to decide.