Living in Communities

Community Changes, Community Choices

Living in Communities

Participants will define elements of a community and create a list of positive attributes that correlate with attributes described by the American Planning Association.

They will "develop" a community with all the elements needed for living. They will determine how to make their community desirable for themselves and their family. They will promote their community to others. Communities will face changes that will be addressed through the creativity and leadership of the citizens.


  • What attributes constitute a quality place to live?
  • What is meant by a "sense of place" and how is it developed?
  • What actions are important to help communities face changes?


  • Prepare Community Descriptions and Nametags.
  • Provide four work areas with poster board and pens.
  • Prepare a Community Postcard for each group.
  • Develop four name place cards, each with the description of a community. Place the community name and description in each area:
    1. Skyline City (urban community) with public transportation, sidewalks, walkability to shops, neighborhood schools, historic architecture, housing for all income levels, police service, public transportation, retail and specialty shops, and restaurants.
    2. Forest Lake Borough with locally owned bait shop, gun shop, potter, citizens, small general store and a local diner that specializes in the "famous elk burger." Independent folks who look out for each other from a distance. Not too many outsiders visit the area. No motels. Beautiful wilderness. Easy access to countryside, adjacent to a state park with lake.
    3. Coal Run Borough (mountainous area) with ethnic character, religious ties, strong neighborhood connections, ethnic foods, neighborhood support and security.
    4. Rural Dairy Township in a pastoral setting, open space, farm houses situated on farms of 15 acres or more, community support and familiarity. Many make a living providing services to farmers. Annual community gatherings such as the Fair and Fall Festival draw visitors from long distances.
  • Prepare overhead and copies of the Tool Box for Growing Smarter.
  • Prepare Community Dilemma Cards for each group.


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