The team at PARCS greatly values insights from our participants and their communities. In order to deepen and continue conversation and engagement outside of our direct work, we are launching a platform on Facebook to speak directly to our audience. We aim to learn through their feedback, as well as share our message and communicate the value of “purpose-built communities” that we strive to support. See below for our entry post, and head over to our new page for more updates!
At PARCS, we are dedicated to understanding the relationship between a community’s built environment and resident health. Years of research have shown connections between environmental characteristics and resources, and residents’ physical and mental well-being. We seek to understand connection this by working directly with residents in communities across all five New York City boroughs, and gaining insights into their opinions and attitudes on their surrounding environment, as well as their physical activity and use of the space. Our goals in this work is to determine what makes a beneficial environment, and how these insights can be translated into developing purpose-built communities.
A purpose-built community is one where all community members work together to accomplish a shared goal that will better the lives of individuals within that area. There are four necessary components of a purpose-built community, including:
- Collective efficacy: the overarching attitude and belief that by working together, people can make a positive difference.
- Development and use of available assets: this includes tangible assets such as financial and facility resources, and intangible assets, including shared values and beliefs.
- Agreed-upon process: these processes will create an order and structured path toward achieving the groups’ goals, and determine which members are responsible for which tasks.
- Defining a shared goal that matters to all community members: this is an extremely important element, as a purpose-built community is most impactful if it’s efforts benefit the neighborhood as a whole.
We would like this page to serve as both a resource with information on how to promote purpose-built communities, and as a forum for readers to share their experiences, ask questions, and post suggestions. We hope that you will benefit from the postings and dialogue on this page. Just as with purpose-built communities, we will all benefit from sharing our thoughts and goals with one another!
-PARCS Study Team