GOOD on Better Neighborhoods

April 21, 2010

Molly de Aguiar, Program Associate

GOOD guide to better neighborhoods

If you’re not familiar with GOOD (the magazine, the website, their events & videos), they are worth checking out. They show us how to collaborate – individuals, businesses and nonprofits – and move forward on a wide range of issues, and they are, for me, a really interesting example of building community and nurturing creativity through the internet.

They routinely give out assignments, such as “Help Us Create ‘Neighbor Day’” and “Design an Everyday Solution to an Extraordinary Problem” inviting anyone and everyone to participate. One of their most recent assignments was to design a way to give easier access to healthy, fresh food to people who receive government assistance. The winner of the Food Stamps and Farmers’ Market assignment shows us how this is already being done in Santa Monica, CA – useful, practical information for anyone else who might be working on these same issues.

I am also a fan of GOOD’s infographics, which are always fascinating.

Lately, I’ve been reading their feature on neighborhoods: what makes for a nice neighborhood? (See also Nate Silver‘s really interesting article, “The Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York”  in New York Magazine and his methodology for ranking them).

Also, how do you make your neighborhood better? As we continue to improve and expand Sustainable Jersey, these questions about improving our neighborhoods and communities are essential.

GOOD offers a lot of advice that may seem basic, but sometimes we need to be reminded to be good regulars at our local businesses, to throw an occasional block party, and to  get to know our neighbors. You can find their neighborhood issue here, which they will be updating until they’ve posted all of their articles. Given our work around healthy regional food systems, the article “Agriculture is the New Golf” is especially interesting.

You can also find GOOD on Facebook and on Twitter, where they ask a daily question (e.g., “Who or what inspires you?”), and it’s interesting to read people’s responses.

Do you like the neighborhood you live in? What would make it better – and what can you do to make it better?

* * *

Tickets for the 2010 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival go on sale through the NJPAC box office on Friday, April 23 at 10 am.