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COMMUNITY RISING TREND

If the boom-times gave us anything, they gave us almost 700 festivals, that celebrate some aspect of art, culture, humanity, sport or family fun. Add to this pop up anythings, artist initiatives in the community, businesses clubbing together, sports communities self organizing, street parties, weekly markets etc. It goes on.

Doing something is the new doing nothing. Doing something for ourselves, with others, or doing something ourselves, for others. And even doing something for others, with others. Because we need to, want to, or feel we ought to, we are reshaping our communities, which have sustained our society in the decades gone by. Communities around physical locations or surrounds, communities of interest groups, like-minded people, communities with shared beliefs, communities with goals and objectives. There is a resurgence of community in the modern sense of the word. We can see it at every turn.

Neighbourhood gatherings

In Urban areas and suburbia, there is a resurgence of street parties. Urban and suburban communities are bringing people together for markets, musical events and charity initiatives. We’ve spotted random ‘street feasts’ and block parties where people are merely setting up a rickety table, a few refreshments and optional bunting as a means of attracting neighbours out for some fun.

The sports community

TV shows like Operation transformation, as well as running and cycling groups are bringing communities together in their chosen activity. The moving of some GAA matches to Sky Sports will continue to cause controversy, but perhaps we will revert to the old way of gathering in neighbours’ homes to watch matches together. An interesting one to watch….

If you look at sites like parkrun.ie where weekly 5K running events are organized by the community, for the community. Really professionally organized, the website recruits volunteers to sustain the free programme and issues barcodes so joggers may track their times. This Marlay park model is rolling out around the country. Sponsors welcome….

The foodie movement

The popularity of farmers markets, pop up shops and restaurants throughout the country eliminate the daunting risks and startup costs for purveyors and artisans of food throughout the country. Supermarkets and local councils have created safe environments to host regular weekly markets which serve the community.

Active artists

The art community is experience something of a renaissance. And they’re not on their own. DCC is looking for vacant properties to be used for art. Property owners would join a register and rent their properties for 1 to 6 months to people who need space for cultural and creative purposes.

United in business

Business communities, such as competitor coffee shops coming together and having barista events to promote their collective industry. Entrepreneur networks, town centres, strip malls are all combining efforts to collectively drum up business and support one another.The backdrop of this community rising is that the very survival of our rural towns are being threatened. Over 100 Garda stations, more than 200 banks and almost 1,300 pubs have closed their doors around the country in recent years, leading to the emergence of a worrying twin tier nation.

Interesting Stats:
Over 800 road races in Ireland
64% helped a stranger this year, higher than OECD average of 49%