Community Problems

Community Problems

Community Problems Jonathan Poland

Community problems are local issues that can only be effectively addressed by involving the people who live in the affected area. While communities have the potential to solve their own problems, they may require support from various sources, such as government funding or assistance from nonprofit organizations. In some cases, government intervention may be necessary in the form of laws, regulations, policies, programs, or citizen oversight. Solving community problems requires a collaborative effort involving multiple stakeholders. Here are some examples.

Access to Education Access to Products & Services
Access to Transportation Addiction
Affordable Housing Age Discrimination
Air Quality Bullying
Capital Flight Child Welfare
Childcare Civic Engagement
Civility Consumer Education
Cost of Living Crime
Cultural Opportunities Destruction of Ecosystems
Disability Rights Disasters
Discrimination Disease
Dispute Resolution Domestic Violence
Economic Freedoms Economic Problems
Emergency Services Energy Infrastructure
Financial Security Fire Safety
Food Security Freedom of Association
Freedom of Movement Freedom of Religion
Gender Discrimination Green Space
Happiness Health & Fitness
Healthcare Homelessness
Housing Quality Human Rights
Hunger & Nutrition Infrastructure Decay
Lack of Opportunity Land Degradation
Legal Rights Loneliness & Isolation
Marketable Skills (job market) Mental Health
Mismanagement of Resources Modern Slavery
Noise Obesity
Overcrowding Overpolicing
Places for Recreation Places to Play
Policing Political Rights
Population Decline Positive Role Models
Poverty Preservation of Cultural Heritage
Privacy Rights Public Space
Racism Safety
Sanitation & Hygiene School Dropout Rate
School Quality Security
Service Disruptions (e.g. late trains) Services for the Elderly
Small Business Failures Social Opportunities
Social Stability Social Support (i.e. people to turn to with a problem)
Socialization Substance Abuse
Technology Infrastructure Traffic Jams
Transportation Safety Unemployment
Voter Turnout Wages
Walkability Waste Management
Water Infrastructure Water Pollution
Water Security Working Conditions
Youth Activities Youth Unemployment

There are two main approaches to solving community problems: political action and direct action. Political action involves working to influence government and businesses to address a problem, such as advocating for policies that reduce air pollution in a city. Direct action involves taking direct, practical steps to solve a problem at the community level, such as organizing a neighborhood group to repurpose a roadway as green infrastructure. Political action often involves creating “creative tension” to drive change, while direct action can benefit from using entrepreneurial approaches such as design thinking, systems thinking, and “fail well” strategies. Together, these two approaches can be powerful tools for addressing community problems and improving the quality of life in a given area.

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