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How to ensure the sustainability of inclusive communities?

“Inclusive community” refers to a community that accommodates, accepts and respects diversity, differences and different opinions. Such a community not only welcomes the participation of people of different backgrounds, beliefs, cultures, genders, ages, abilities and so on, but also encourages them to make use of their own strengths and talents within the community, and to jointly contribute to the progress and development of the community.So what can be done to ensure the sustainability of inclusive communities?

Figure 1:Characteristics of inclusive communities

 Source: playcore.com  2019

I. Multicultural integration

The primary task of an inclusive community is to promote multicultural integration. This requires community members to be able to understand and respect different cultural backgrounds, and to provide a platform for various cultures to display and exchange ideas. Through the organisation of cultural festivals, seminars and other activities, members can deepen their knowledge and understanding of multiculturalism, thereby building a culturally diverse and harmonious community.

II. Equal opportunities and entitlements

Ensuring equal opportunities and entitlements for community members is key to the continued development of inclusive communities. This includes achieving equity in employment, education, resource allocation, etc., without discrimination on the basis of factors such as race, gender and religion. Communities should establish appropriate systems and mechanisms to ensure that everyone’s rights and interests are protected.

Figure 2:Equality, diversity, and inclusion matters

 Source:http://middlesbrough.gov.uk  2022

III. Impartial decision-making mechanism

A fair decision-making mechanism is an important guarantee for maintaining stability and harmony in the community. All decisions should be based on the principles of openness, transparency and democracy, and the opinions and suggestions of community members should be widely heard. Effective feedback channels should be established to ensure that decisions reflect the wishes and interests of the majority.

IV. Open communication

Open communication is the foundation for building an inclusive community. Communities should encourage members to communicate openly with each other and share their views and experiences. At the same time, it is important to provide space for the expression of different views and to promote the collision and integration of different perspectives.

V. Continuous education and training

Education and training is an effective way to improve the quality of community members and enhance community cohesion. The community should organise various training activities on a regular basis to improve the cultural literacy, communication skills and leadership of its members. Through education and training, not only can we improve our individual abilities, but also help the community as a whole to make progress.

Figure 3:A Welcoming and Inclusive community

 Source:CityofStAlbert  2017

VI. Continuous Feedback Improvement

Continuous feedback improvement is an important part of sustainable community development. The community should establish an effective feedback mechanism to collect and analyse members’ opinions and suggestions in a timely manner and make improvements in response to existing problems. At the same time, it is also necessary to assess the development status of the community on a regular basis and adjust the development strategy and direction in a timely manner.

VII. Strengthening Community Cohesion

Strengthening community cohesion is the core of ensuring sustainable community development. Communities should enhance members’ sense of identity and belonging to the community by organising various collective activities and establishing volunteer teams. At the same time, it should also pay attention to the personal development of community members and provide them with the necessary support and assistance.

VIII. Adapting to change with the times

In a rapidly changing social environment, inclusive communities must keep abreast of the times and adapt to change. The community should pay attention to the new trends and needs of social development and adjust its own development direction and strategy in a timely manner. At the same time, it should encourage its members to respond positively to change and develop their capacity for innovation and adaptation.

In conclusion, ensuring the sustainable development of inclusive communities requires multifaceted efforts and cooperation. By promoting multicultural integration, guaranteeing equal opportunities and rights, establishing fair decision-making mechanisms, strengthening open communication and exchange, providing education and training, providing continuous feedback and improvement, strengthening community cohesion and adapting to change with the times, we can promote the continuous development of inclusive communities and contribute to social harmony and progress.

Reference:

  • Canuto, Marcello A. and Jason Yaeger, eds. (2000) The Archaeology of Communities. Routledge, New York.
  • Chavis, D.M., Hogge, J.H., McMillan, D.W., & Wandersman, A. 1986. “Sense of community through Brunswick’s lens: A first look.” Journal of Community Psychology, 14(1), 24-40.
  • Chipuer, H. M., & Pretty, G. M. H. (1999). A review of the Sense of Community Index: Current uses, factor structure, reliability, and further development. Journal of Community Psychology, 27(6), 643-658.
  • Christensen, K., et al. (2003). Encyclopedia of Community. 4 volumes. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Cohen, A. P. 1985. The Symbolic Construction of Community. Routledge: New York.
  • Durkheim, Émile. 1950 [1895] The Rules of Sociological Method. Translated by S. A. Solovay and J. H. Mueller. New York: The Free Press.
  • Cox, F., J. Erlich, J. Rothman, and J. Tropman. 1970. Strategies of Community Organization: A Book of Readings.Itasca, IL: F. E. Peacock Publishers.

 

 

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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

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Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk