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C200: Community Re-defined

2011 April 7
by Mark R. Schuster

< Looking north from the Seattle Municipal Tower - click to enlarge; photo: Dan Bertolet >

Cities are a unique fabric of interwoven networks. They present opportunities for relationships that might not otherwise exist and take the concept of community to a whole new level, enveloping the social, economic and cultural fabric of place. The richness within the social and cultural aspects of each of these unique networks works closely together providing a more meaningful experience for the community and people within it. From a structural standpoint, cities are dense populations that share resources. From a humanistic approach cities bring together a wide array of people to solve complex problems. And, most importantly, cities provide a meaningful purpose and existence for its inhabitants.

Urban cities have one major advantage over suburban communities… efficiency. Cities allow for efficiency of space, materials, and time. They are environmentally sustainable because they minimize impact by creating density instead of sprawl. But their sustainable nature doesn’t end with environmental impacts—cities are sustainable communities.

Cities become the breeding ground for innovation. Within a city you will find individuals working to cure cancer, build the next aeronautical advancement, and improve the pertinent social services that provide health, education and opportunity to all individuals. Cities bring together millions of individuals that want to better their own community as well as the larger social issues that may be affecting communities around the globe. On the lighter side, cities provide quick, efficient and meaningful gestures of space and opportunity for people to gather together to enjoy the finest food, entertainment, culture, education and services.

True sustainability isn’t about using the greenest products. It is about living all aspects of your life in a sustainable manner. True sustainability is about sustainable relationships, sustainable businesses and sustainable environments. Cities bring all of these aspects together to work in a cohesive manner.

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Mark R. Schuster is founder of The Schuster Group, a Seattle-based real estate investment and development firm, and author of Lofty Pursuits: Repairing the World One Building at a Time.

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