Are we achieving Community Cohesion?
“The issue of community cohesion is becoming increasingly more pressing. It has pushed this issue higher up the political agenda.
Communities are places of diversity. The coexistence of diverse lifestyles is recognised as a feature of urban societies that are becoming more diverse in terms of culture, nationality, religion, gender and age, to name a few. Society faces the challenge of how to manage this diversity and create cohesion within our communities.
The Local Government Association (LGA) defines a cohesive community as:
• There is common vision and a sense of belonging for all communities;
• The diversity of people’s different backgrounds and circumstances are appreciated and positively valued;
• Those from different backgrounds have similar life opportunities; and
• Strong and positive relationships are being developed between people from different backgrounds in the workplace, in schools and within neighbourhoods.
How can a community achieve cohesion? Well, it can aim to build understanding between different groups and to build mutual trust and respect by breaking down stereotypes and misconceptions about the ‘other’.
Also it can develop a positive vision for diverse societies, in which people from all backgrounds would feel that they belong and are valued, enjoy similar life opportunities and interact with people from different backgrounds to break down myths and stereotypes and to build trust.
Within our industry we are in a very fortunate position where we can support communities to achieve a cohesive community. Osborne at the heart of all our projects want to build this cohesion with our communities and be part of them as they grow. We do this by working in local schools, community groups, charities or supporting a community hero. For instance at our Apsley Bridge project in Hertfordshire supplied materials and staff to create an adventure playground at the nearby Two Waters Primary School.
Cohesive communities are communities which are better able to tackle common problems, to provide mutual support and to work together for a positive future. We all have a part to play in achieving this important goal for society.”
Mike Todd is the Lead Business Development Manager for Infrastructure at Osborne.