Functional Neighbourhoods

This project is designed to serve as a tool to connect neighbours living on the same street and allow them to solve their street-specific issues by themselves.

View an example website serving as a hub of Functional Neighbourhoods in Meaford: Everyone who lives in Meaford municipality is welcome to register there.

Tools we are using to assist in connecting neighbours:

  1. Website can be build to serve as a hub for all town neighbourhoods or for a specific neighbourhood/street. See Beautiful Meaford example above.
  2. Communication channels between the neighbours. Works best if a “neighbourhood champion” is chosen to facilitate the communication:
    1. email
    2. phone
    3. Keybase app (can be used on computer as well as smart phone). It is an encrypted tool. It is more reliable than social networks or free email accounts.
    4. a single physical mail box can be used for a neighbourhood to drop off and read news/messages
  3. For skills and items sharing use Street Bank: it is a tool that allows viewing what your immediate neighbours have for share and request what you need.
  4. Plan of Action:
    1. Determine the area of your Functional Neighbourhood (it could be either your street or neighbourhood that you can determine logical boundaries for), list your neighbours.
    2. Choose your 1st neighbourhood action (see a list of possible example actions for ideas) you’ll take and choose your preferred communication channel.
    3. Create and distribute the invitation brochure with info about your action idea and date when you want your neighbours to participate.
    4. Meet on that date and do the action that you’ve planned. Consider making it an annual event.
    5. Ask for feedback, think up the 2nd action together.
    6. Consider starting newsletter, promote Streetbank skill/item share and Keybase or whatever other communication channel you have chosen. If there is no website for you town, consider making something similar to Meaford Functional Neighbourhoods site
    7. Determine the most active participants and key players in your neighbourhood and plan ahead: vision, resilience, sustainability, survival, prosperity of your neighbourhood. 
    8. Collect contacts, determine you team’s strengths and weaknesses and continue to work. 
  5. Some ideas to inspire:
    1. Plant trees
    2. Pickup garbage, clean your street
    3. Build a community garden or Bee & Batterfly Habitat or both! Collect compost and setup a composting station for your community garden. Setup rainwater collection station.
    4. Setup bee hives on a volunteer’s property
    5. Create a bike/walk pathway
    6. Collect toxic waste and take turns taking it to the waste station
    7. Share cars
    8. Build a playground on volunteer’s property
    9. Create a community safety kit/blackout charging station and designate a volunteer to take care of it 
    10. Purchase an emergency tent and let a designated volunteer store it
    11. Setup a skillshare and item share for your neighbourhood. You can use Streetbank.
    12. Create a street party to get to know your neighbours better
    13. Get rid of invasive species
    14. Organize youth club where kids think up their own actions and projects to serve community
    15. Support neighbours businesses
    16. Organize a street concert with local street talents 
  6. Download Functional Neighbourhoods brochure PDF with Action Plan on one side and a sample neighbours invitation to participate on the other.