One of the best ways to improve the quality of any community, or any property, is to provide residents with the opportunities they need to improve their resilience.
Here’s a simple example of that in practice.
Here’s a picture of an apartment complex in California (via KGI).
Notice anything strange about it?
There are gardens in front of it. The apartment building’s owner was smart enough to give all of the tenants in the apartment complex a raised bed to grow some food.
One reason this is a great idea for any apartment owner: gardens add value to the apartments. They make them more valuable. They are also more valuable to the renter, since they can eat better, get more exercise/outdoor time, and cut their food budgets.
This approach doesn’t only work on the small scale. Entire cities can employ it to improve the quality of life, economic performance and the resilience of their residents. Here’s an example of that from Zurich, Switzerland.
Those small buildings and green spaces in the foreground are garden allotments for the apartment dwellers living the high density buildings at the top of the photo.
Here’s another reason allotments are important: they attract and retain resilient people.
Resilient people improve the community.
Resilient people innovate and improvise. They produce, energize, and build at the local level. They are practically optimistic (in contrast to the childish “wish-based optimism” that is so prevalent today).
They are the types of people we need around us as we head into turbulent times.
PS: When the Soviet Union collapsed, it was extremely difficult to find enough food to eat (or afford it when it was offered on the market). How did most people get by? Many had allotments (a dacha) to fall back on. During the Soviet era, people used these allotments to grow the fresh foods they didn’t get in the supermarkets.
PPS: If you are really ambitious about this? Dive into the governance of your community. Add allotments to the zoning regulations for new construction. It will pay off in terms of improved home values, improved quality of life, and increased community resilience over the long term.