Remember those times when, come evening, and residential areas came to life, with children playing on the roads, neighbours catching up by the compound walls and pets frolicking in the spray of the garden hose? No? Neither do we. That is a world long gone and parents now would probably be horrified of the thought of their children playing on the roads.
Our urban areas have slowly and steadily moved towards apartment living. As city populations grow, this is the ideal way to create comfortable living spaces as well as close-knit communities. Ironically though, even as apartments bring homes closer together, their inhabitants tend to live more isolated lives than in the scenario we painted above. But it takes only one person’s initiative to bring community living to apartments and that person could be you.
You must already have groups on social media or messaging platforms that have most (if not all) of the residents. Use such groups to form interest circles. Suggest creating a book club, for instance, and you are sure to find at least a handful of people who will be interested.
If you have gardening enthusiasts, create a group and find space in the common area where you can have a herbs and vegetables patch. Not only would it be a great opportunity to bond with people with similar interests, you could also have access to fresh organic produce, which could then be sold (or even given away free of cost) to the residents.
You could look at creating similar groups for pet owners, music enthusiasts (who knows, you may soon have a band), for health and fitness, or even study circles.
Festival times are also when you need that sense of community to work its magic and bring the feeling of togetherness. Have gatherings during festivals, share food and celebrate together. If it is a festival you celebrate, you would be glad to have company. If it isn’t one that you observe, even better, because you get to be part of something new.
And even if only a few of these ideas take off, try and make sure you have a monthly or bi-monthly meeting with all the residents. Not only is this a great way to catch up with your neighbours, it would also be so much more welcoming to a new person or family that has just moved in. Who said urban spaces are devoid of the warmth of community?