What is a community? A community is usually a political organization with common membership or common interest, such as religion, norms, values, habits, or geography. In a community, residents share personal and societal associations. Communities can also share a common sense of place located in a given geographic region or even in virtual space by means of communication technologies.
The term community was first used in the Western Hemisphere, where it refers to a distinct local group or association. The “community” in question can take various forms, such as neighborhood, ward, regional, municipal, ethnic, or professional. In the United States, the term community has become more specific and is now used to refer to various types of social organizations having a common heritage or interest. Common examples of these are civic clubs (e.g., Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis), fraternal organizations (e.g., Odd fellows, Optimists, Sigma Beta), volunteer/haven clubs (e.g., Elks Club, Lions Club), sports clubs (e.g., Little League, Indoor Tennis, Basketball Association), alumni associations (e.g., Sigma Chi), professional clubs (e.g., Rotary Club, Tennis Association), and neighborhood groups (e.g., Garden City Association). It should be noted that not all communities share these common characteristics; some are ethnically or religiously diverse while others may be distinctly political.
One major challenge for writers concerning community descriptions is the lack of precise or standardized definitions in this and many other arenas. Writing about a community requires the writer to describe what the local residents may consider a norm for their community. In doing so, the writer would need to define the notion of what is considered a norm in their community. This is actually a rather simplistic task, since there are various factors that could potentially be considered a norm in the given community. It is thus necessary to engage in the process of defining what is a community.
Community characteristics like these might include: property lines, crime rate, level of government services, number of residents, levels of education, and various aspects of the quality of life. These, of course, are only a few of the factors that could be considered in such a formulation. Still, it is useful to point out the fact that it is usually possible to draw upon the resources of various individuals, institutions, and communities when trying to compile a community description. For example, it might be useful to look at demographics and work with the assumption that the typical resident is of a certain age, has children, and works within the various economic and social categories. The demographics provided might then provide a basis for the kinds of services that are offered by the local government. Finally, any laws or regulations that affect community members can be looked at using the same processes.
It is important to point out that what is a community often varies from one area to the next. One area might have a very low crime rate, while another community has very high crime rates. In addition, some communities have very dedicated citizenry, while other communities have low-income, middle-class citizens. Community characteristics, then, depend on various factors such as the makeup of the local citizenry, the extent of governmental regulation, and the nature of local businesses and commerce. A community’s development also depends on the needs of the local citizenry, which could include services such as public recreational facilities or basic human amenities such as water and electricity.
There are several ways to carry out the process of what is a community. The first step is to engage the local government officials in order to make sure that what is a community actually is something that exists. Community leaders can then make the argument that what is a community actually is all of the things that the government and local residents have agreed to collectively. Usually, this involves economic development, but there are also other types of development that community leaders can pursue. Community leaders and local government officials can work together to assess what services the community needs. They can also work together to create goals and plans for the community, including what services the community should offer to its residents, what types of activities take place within the community, and what types of initiatives the community should consider to improve the quality of life of the residents.
Once the community has a detailed plan, it can begin to implement what is a community in a number of different ways. One way is through a community assessment. In an assessment, the community describes what it needs, what kind of services it has, what it will do in the future, what its budget will look like in the future, what types of activities it wants to conduct, what kinds of services it might want to provide, and what its goals are for the future. The community can also describe what its goals are through a community description. This type of description might go into more detail about what the community hopes to accomplish through its actions.
After these two descriptions have been given, and the community and its stakeholders (government agencies, including local government agencies and public health organizations) have worked out the details, the next step is to formulate a community action plan. This plan could outline what types of activities take place within the community, what types of services might be provided by the community, what types of activities might be conducted outside the community, what its budget will look like in the future, and what goals the community has for meeting those future goals. It could also outline what the community hopes to achieve in terms of public health. Finally, the community can describe what it will do to provide for its residents.