In February, we published an in-depth feature story exploring the rise of urban villages. An urban village is a "relatively small, place-based urban community where people cooperate to meet one another's many needs, be they residential, economic, governmental, or social," Amanda Abrams wrote in the piece. We then asked readers to share their experiences about this kind of communal living and received a number of thoughtful and eye-opening responses. "My community has also been helpful in times of need," Shareable reader Gabrielle Tillenburg wrote. "When someone is going through a time of stress or grief, there is a support system in place to take care of cleaning and cooking — not unlike one would receive when living with supportive immediate family."
To expand on this discussion, we recently hosted a lively conversation about urban villages at the Oakstop coworking space in Oakland, California. It was inspiring to see so many community leaders and residents come together to learn about how urban villages could provide an avenue for city-dwellers to connect and build stronger communities. This conversation was an especially important one to have given the negative emotional and physical health impacts of social isolation.
We gave participants a few questions to guide the conversation and recorded their responses. The questions included: What is the current state of urban villages in the San Francisco Bay Area (or in your region)? What would an ideal network of urban villages look and feel like? What are the necessary steps we need to take to make urban villages a reality? The result was an amalgamation of actionable ideas and theoretical frameworks for creating such villages. In case you missed the workshop, here are some snapshots. We would love to keep this conversation going, so please send your responses to the questions above, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you have story ideas or want to submit a piece about urban villages? Fill out this brief questionnaire, and one of our editors will be in touch with you.
This was the first event in a planned series of discussions based around stories published by Shareable. For details about upcoming events, sign up for our weekly newsletter!
All photos by Chris Rankin/Shareable