As I have been exploring the issues of an ideal living environment I have come to the conclusion that there is a factor which I had not noticed before which can probably exist in almost any of the categories of places (large city, suburban, rural, etc.) which seems to have more influence over desirability of the location than size or amenities. That factor is stability of the area. In a city there are likely to be areas which have it and areas which don’t which means that looking at a whole city might be virtually useless in this search for an illusive ideal.
When I talk about stability I do not equate a static community environment with a stable community environment. Static indicates a lack of change to me where stable indicates sustainability. The two are largely independent of each other. A stable community would be one where residents are invested in the whole community and not simply their own household. It is one where there is likely to be less turnover because of that investment. I believe that this is the reason that our government tends to promote homeownership – the assumption is that ownership would tend towards becoming invested in the community.
I recognize that stability is not nearly as important at some stages of life (single college student for example) as it is at others (when you are trying to raise kids). I am basing my search for an ideal on the child-rearing situation partly because that is the stage I am at, but mostly because I believe that strong homes where children are being raised form the foundation of a strong society.
In a future post I will be exploring how to get into a stable community considering that they tend to have lower turnover. I’m sure that there are a variety of ways. I’ll be looking for insights both before and after I write that post.
So, critique me. Is stability as important as I have suggested? Have I defined it correctly? Are there factors that I have failed to notice? Besides resident buy-in to the community, what else contributes to stability in a community?