Redwood City’s adopted core purpose, “Build a Great Community Together” means that it works to be more than just a well-run city – it’s dedicated to working in partnership with the people who live and work here to create a stronger community, from its streets and blocks to its neighborhoods and the entire community.
Getting its citizens engaged and involved with the city – and more importantly with each other – is a key desired outcome of all of our community building activities. Studies show that “social capital” (that is, joining groups, gathering with neighbors, volunteering, getting involved in community issues or special interests) is on the decline nationwide. Those communities exhibiting higher levels of social capital also experience higher levels of health, safety, and education among other attributes.
Therefore, Redwood’s intent with “Building Community – Neighbor to Neighbor” is to increase social capital by helping neighbors get involved with neighbors (and with the city itself), and find and develop their own creative ways to build community together.
And, not incidentally, as we continue to struggle with a slow economy and shrinking budgets, it becomes evermore important to bring people together and foster volunteerism and civic involvement at the neighborhood level - helping people to get to know and help one another.
Redwood’s series of programs over the last nine years has resulted in a great increase in social capital/civic engagement in Redwood City.The following case study focuses on Redwood City’s latest community building partnership - the GoGoVerde Neighborhood Network.