Meet your Neighbours

Author: Heather Brooke

What NEED does this meet?

This site would give neighbours the chance to communicate, meet, organise, coordinate local projects, lobby the council, or just go to the local pub. The aim is to re-establish bonds of community and trust with those people living near us.

A similar project is operating in America: http://www.meettheneighbors.org/

What is the APPROACH?

The plan is to get people in buildings, blocks and streets to sign up to the service. For example, all those in a shared leasehold could sign up to receive and comment on issues affecting the block. People could lobby the council for more parking spaces, recycling bins, discuss planning proposals, crime in the area, etc.

What are the BENEFITS to people?

These days, there are few opportunities to meet our neighbours. We’re hardly going to knock on everyone’s door and introduce ourselves! But online, there are few obstacles to meeting the neighbours.

What is the COMPETITION?

None that I know of.

What BUDGETS & LOGISTICS are required?

The main difficulties will be getting enough people signed up and overcoming people’s natural shyness. Publicity will be essential.

3 Comments

  1. I like this idea a lot, but meettheneighbors.org has options for international membership, and I see there are several people signed up around London. So perhaps a more UK-centric version would make sense, where the service connects into local government or cultural institutions directly: a facility that emails the council when the rubbish isn’t picked up, or when you want to submit a comment on a planning application. A combo of ActiveCitizen and Meet the Neighbours.

  2. I had a similar idea, called ‘SortItOut’, which I won’t now submit. However, it was strictly about action in the local community, with an emphasis on local projects (e.g. painting the community centre, fishing trolleys out of a river etc). People could nominate local improvement ideas, discuss them and then get a group of people together on an agreed date.

  3. We recently launched an almost identical service to the idea above. My Neighbourhoods allows you to get to know your neighbours and local area, allowing members to communicate securely with one another and the community as a whole, fostering closer community ties and improving local life. The site is growing quickly and we have many more features planned. We would love to partner with My Society, particularly WriteToThem and FixMyStreet.

    http://www.myneighbourhoods.co.uk