Human connection is one of the most important parts of our shared experience. Countless studies have shown that having valuable connections can reduce anxiety, depression, feelings of loneliness and isolation, and much more. Community and connections are what drive us forward. But what are the common characteristics of a strong community that goes above and beyond neighbours and cultivating connections?
Are there any elements that make a community stronger than others? And if so, what are they?
In this post, we’re answering all those questions. You’ll learn what the common characteristics of a strong community are and why they’re important. Afterwards, you’ll have a wealth of information and tips to use when you’re searching for your next community!
Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle
Everyone has a different idea of what health means to them. Some see a daily jog or walk as the ticket to healthy living, while others see a commitment to the gym as theirs.
Whatever your version of a healthy lifestyle is, your community should support and promote it. For instance, if going to the gym is the way you practice healthy living and you reside in a beautiful neighbourhood but have a long commute to a gym, that community doesn’t support your version of health. The same can be said for the jogger who doesn’t have access to trails or paths.
Take a moment and think about what you need for your ideal healthy lifestyle and ask yourself this, does my community support this vision? If not, it might be time to shop around.
Our Windsor Pointe community in Fort Saskatchewan has everything you need to create a healthy lifestyle, regardless of what your vision may be. With over 25 km of beautiful biking or walking trails (some of which run along the river), there’s no shortage of space for the jogger. And with a gym less than 5 minutes away, the fitness enthusiast has quick access for their morning workout.
One of the elements that help any person thrive is having a safe place to call home. How many of you have lived in a community that didn’t prioritize safety? How did it affect your happiness, joy, or sense of wellbeing? Were you scared to take your dog for a walk? Were you anxious every moment your child walked out the door?
If you’re nodding your head along to any of these, you know how vital safety is. And it’s one of the most important parts of a strong community.
But how can you know for certain a community is safe? Try searching on your local crime report and see how many crimes were reported in your neighbourhood. Oftentimes, they’ll be separated by the type of crime. You’ll want to pay close attention to vandalism, violent crimes, drug charges, and suspicious activity.
For any family, play is important. Fun activities keep your children busy, healthy, and engaged. And more importantly, it keeps them out of trouble.
Another common characteristic of a strong community is having or being close to areas where your child (and you!) can play. This can include:
- Soccer fields or baseball diamonds
- Sport or leisure centers
- Spray parks
- And more
One of the best ways to establish if a community has enough places to play is by touring around. You can do this physically by walking or driving through the community and surrounding areas. Or you can do this virtually by looking on Google Maps at the places near a community.
Our newest family-friendly community is Westwinds. Located only minutes from the heart of Morinville, this community has everything your family needs for fun. Only 5 minutes away from the splash park and across the street from Morinville’s brand new school, Westwinds is perfect for younger families. It’s also only a quick drive away from the new leisure center, where there are tons of drop-in activities for the whole family.
We live in an era that often prioritizes work over our health and balance. And it’s starting to show. More than half of Canadians (53%) have reported feeling burnout. From ever-increasing work demands, to childcare commitments, to inflation causing financial stress, many Canadians feel as if they’re at a tipping point.
That is precisely why living in a community that fosters balance is becoming more and more important.
So how does a community promote balanced living? What are some elements to look out for? Let’s take a look:
- Convenience: Being close to work, your go-to amenities, and friends or family is important to maintaining balance. If you have a long commute to a grocery store on top of long work hours, this can eat away at the time you have for family, hobbies, or other activities that fill your heart with joy.
- Quiet: For those who work in loud or demanding environments, having a quiet community to call home can do wonders for reestablishing balance during your downtime.
- Outdoor Activities: Being able to perform outdoor activities in Alberta is incredibly important. Half of our year is spent in subzero temperatures, so having the opportunity to get outside on warm days and go for a walk or bike ride is one of the most important facets of maintaining balance.
When we’re designing our communities, we always consider ways we can foster balance. By making sure our communities are close to beautiful trails and nearby amenities but far enough away from loud areas to promote a sense of peace and serenity, we help our residents find the type of balance that they so desperately need.
This is especially true for Heritage Valley Estates, located in Morinville. With a beautiful pond only steps away and an abundance of walking and biking trails, Heritage Valley Estates is the perfect community to reestablish balance in your life. Plus, it backs onto a protected treed area, so you get the quiet and privacy you crave while being within a 5-minute radius to all of your favourite amenities.
The American Psychological Association (APA) found that most people spend an average of 10 hours a day in front of a screen. While we move faster into the digital age, the APA is studying how nature can combat the stress and anxiety left behind by too much screen time.
A walk in the park or a stroll through nature has been linked to lower stress levels, improved attention spans, and better moods. It has also been linked to calming a busy brain (something many Canadians have experienced or are experiencing).
Finding a community with ample green space, nature, and trails is paramount to living a more wholesome and balanced life, especially for those with busy schedules and demanding jobs.
If you’re looking for a community where nature is a staple, Sherwood Estates is for you. Located in one of the most beautiful areas in Sherwood Park, you can experience stunning landscaped green space, amazing views, and winding walking trails. You can truly embrace nature while still having the convenience of all your favourite nearby amenities. Plus, with oversized lots, you can create your very own piece of paradise right in your backyard.
Are you ready for a place to call home that has all the characteristics of a strong community?
Now that you know what are the common characteristics of a strong community, does your current neighbourhood meet these criteria? Or is it time to find a new, better place to come home.