Our communities tell us a lot when we just stop and pay attention. By driving “around town” you can get a feel for the philosophy of a place, the self image a community is projecting. You can tell what a town thinks about!
The environment created by a community is either positive or negative. Parts of a town might be positive and parts might be negative.
Things to look for so you can better understand your town and see if the environment of a place is helping to promote negative behavior or positive.
- Is the area neat and tidy? Is trash picked up, old junk autos towed, fences mended?
- Graffiti: are walls, fences, storefronts free of unwanted or negative graffiti?
- Are liquor stores near schools? Churches and other places of worship?
- Are there ample parks and green spaces for children and family? Are they maintained?
- Are there public spaces for sports?
- Does a community support the arts? Are their museums, theaters, art galleries?
- Is the infrastructure maintained? Roads kept up… trees planted/trimmed?
Looking a little deeper you can see:
- Are schools safe? Neat?
- Is there a good law enforcement presence? What are the local standards regarding underage drinking or drug use?
- Is there evidence of serious poverty? Rundown neighborhoods?
- Are there lots of civic organizations… or few?
- Do convenience stores have a reputation for selling beer and tobacco products to minors?
All of these things, and many more, are the environment of a community. Signals that the community is struggling or succeeding are obvious once you know how to look at your town. Environmental factors heavily influence behaviors.