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Increase your quality of life: invest in your Neighborhood!

By Niels Lameijer on Jul 13, 2010 at 12:00 AM in General, My Life , Sustainable Alliances and Leadership
Parking Issue
In some neighborhoods it's worse than in others

How to increase property values and quality of life? Building solid neighbor-to-neighbor relations is the perfect place to start, because many of the issues that affect neighborhoods and overall quality of life (excessive parking, trash, noise, loitering, etc.) can be diminished by creating a stronger sense of community in your own neighborhood.

Yesterday I gave a presentation at Carpinteria's City Council as the chair of Carpinteria's Neighborhood Preservation Committee (NPC). I was appointed to this committee about a year ago and our assignment was to provide recommendations to City Council focused on: "the improvement of programs and services that can positively affect the quality of life and property values of single family residential neighborhoods in Carpinteria."

When talking about Neighborhood Preservation you can be assured to have some "hot topics" on the agenda, and it is no different in Carpinteria. A lot of these issues can be addressed by optimizing existing city programs; reprioritize code enforcement and improving of the City's education and communication.

There is something more however that I see as the key for improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods. It is not increasing the amount of rules and regulations or increasing enforcement ....the key lies in creating stronger neighbor-to-neighbor relationships.

Block Party
Organize your Neighborhood BBQ!

In today's society people tend to not know who their neighbors are. And if they are able to recognize their neighbors in a police-line-up, it's mostly because of their "hi-how-are-you-fine-thanks-good bye"-relationship. People tend to not invest in getting to know those who live next door, and this while improving your relationship with you fellow neighborhood inhabitants will have a positive effect on social control, tolerance, safety, and thus will increase the overall quality.  

So when it comes to improving the quality of your neighborhood, take the initiative! Organize a block party, invite your neighbors for a BBQ, and welcome newcomers in the neighborhood. I am certain this will have a very positive effect on any neighborhood and on your quality of life.