There’s no feeling quite like the one you get from knowing that you belong somewhere. There’s nothing like that feeling of pride, that passion of ownership – and the accompanying respect for where you live – that comes from the notion of truly identifying with where you live and where you lay your head down to sleep at night. It’s so real, it’s almost tangible, and when a condo community embodies this belief wholeheartedly, it can change the entire atmosphere of a building and the residents who live there.
This unique pride-of-ownership is really the gold standard that condo boards and Alberta condo management companies strive to reach and instill in residents. When residents truly feel like they belong to a community, this sense of ownership typically translates into a loving respect for the property as a whole, accompanied by a desire to see it improve and be the best that it can be.
As a direct result, maintenance and upkeep become less expensive – people take care of the place better, so there’s less wear-and-tear to account for. Security becomes less of a concern because residents are looking out for one another. All of this circles back to boost community morale as a whole, causing the building to become a more desirable place to live, resulting in fewer vacancies and more financial stability for the condo corporation as a whole.
You might be thinking “Sure, that all sounds great, but how do we make that happen in our building?” One word: placemaking.
Placemaking is a unique, community-minded approach to planning and designing public spaces that have been around for decades, getting its start back in the 1960s. Now, more than half a century later, placemaking’s seeing a strong resurgence not just in urban planning, but in condo communities as well. The fundamental philosophy behind placemaking involves the simple task of designating a public space towards a unique vision or goal, and then building towards that goal through community-centric initiatives – driving investment not just in the space, but in the group and encompassing property as a whole.
In order to find success in placemaking, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind:
It might seem beyond the mandate of a condo management company to suggest putting a focus on community building outside the bounds of the condo complex, but in reality, this is an incredibly beneficial and constructive area to invest time in. By reaching beyond your own condo complex and into the surrounding area and neighbourhood, you can engage in building community without having to do any of the actual heavy lifting, planning, or organizational work yourself. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? Just keep an eye on relevant activities happening within the neighbourhood, and then follow up by informing your residents about them. This essentially lets you piggyback on the community-building already happening in your area. Not bad!
Bringing up the community in your condo building can be a difficult job that requires plenty of time invested and even more patience. Through placemaking and subcommittees, and possibly a little extra help from the surrounding neighbourhood, it won’t be long before you start to see residents, little by little, beginning to invest themselves more and more in their condo community.
If you’ve got questions about how to kickstart your condo community, or are looking to learn about some successful examples of placemaking that other condo buildings have implemented here in Alberta, feel free to get in touch with us at Catalyst Condo Management today – we’ll be happy to help steer you in the right direction!