"Somehow in our society it’s become completely acceptable to live side by side with people – driveway to driveway – for years and decades at a time, and not know each other. There’s no stigma attached to that; why is that?" - Peter Lovenheim
A good starting point for restoring vibrancy in cities is reversing the anti-social trends that have become commonplace in American cities over the last several decades. The best part is that building trust and fulfilling relationships with neighbors is cheap and easy!
- Ring the doorbell and say hello.
- Finally take your neighbor out for that beer you promised 5 years ago when you first moved in.
- Utilize the oft-neglected front yard if you have one.
- Host a potluck for neighbors on your street or in your apartment building.
- If there's an activity you usually perform inside that can be easily taken to a community gathering space, try it there.
- Bake cookies for your neighbors. Who doesn't like cookies?
Additional DIY community-building:
Five ways to strengthen your neighborhood: http://www.peterlovenheim.com/strengthen.php
Throw a neighborhood party: http://www.tempe.gov/cpu/GAIN