A polar bear carved out of snow in Kitchener's Victoria Park neighbourhood
Propinquity was the theme of the 29th annual Celebration of the Festival of Neighbourhoods. So what is propinquity? A standard definition is that it refers to the physical or psychological proximity between people. In the context of neighbourhoods and cities, it describes the likelihood of coming into contact with other people. So, a place that has qualities which encourage opportunities for encounters and interactions between strangers can be said to have propinquity.
Propinquity usually exists as a result of many different factors, especially those related to the built environment. However, an equally important factor is neighbourliness. By being a good neighbour, you can help increase proximity in your neighbourhood, leading to more chance encounters.
Think about where your neighbours will be strolling, and how you might wow! them by:
- Building a snowman
- Adding little libraries (books, art, toys, etc.)
- Making your front yard, balcony or entrance to your home interesting with plantings or seasonal decorations.
- Clearing your sidewalk of snow & ice
- Think of lighting as a way to beautify the streetscape
- Don't forget to go for a walk in your neighbourhood. You too can enjoy the many gifts to the streetscape that your neighbours have created!
John MacDonald and Social Development Centre Waterloo Region are the proud founding partners of Festival of Neighbourhoods Kitchener since 1994.