You probably love the community where you live. How well does it measure up to the American Planning Associationâ€™s Characteristics and Guidelines of Great Neighborhoods?
Evaluate your community on the following characteristics. Research the answers to these questions, and if you like, you can use a digital camera to add images to document what evidence you can find of these characteristics in your neighborhood. Feel free to ask an adult in your household their opinion on these questions.
People are able to live, work, and shop in their neighborhood.
Where do people work in your neighborhood? Do they work nearby or commute long distances? Are there grocery, hardware, and drug stores nearby? What about restaurants? The streets are friendly to pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers?
The streets are friendly to pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.
How do people travel in your neighborhood? Are their bike lanes? What about sidewalks? Can you get to shops and businesses by foot or by bike?
The design features of the buildings in the neighborhood are visually appealing.
Are there historic buildings in your neighborhood? How well-maintained are the homes and businesses? Do they have any special design features to them? When were they built? How attractive are they?
The physical spaces within the community encourage neighbors to interact with each other.
Are there parks where people gather in your neighborhood? What about opportunities for recreation? Where do people in your neighborhood meet each other and talk?
The neighborhood promotes community involvement and provides a safe and secure environment.
How safe is your neighborhood? Can people walk the streets and feel safe? Are there neighborhood safety committees? What about non-profit organizations to help support the community? Do people in your neighborhood volunteer and help others?
- The neighborhood embraces green practices to promote sustainability and healthy living.
Does your community have a recycling program? Is public transportation available? Are there programs to help people reduce their carbon footprint? What about a neighborhood farmersâ€™ market? Are there places to exercise and to buy healthy foods?
The place has its own character or culture that is memorable.
Are there festivals or events that celebrate your neighborhood? What is special about your neighborhood?