Everyone in the Street
Street parties are a positive way to engage residents, getting beyond the usual 'grime' issues of local community politics.
Streets Alive's successful projects engage people from different backgrounds, ages and beliefs to come together to develop a more positive attitude towards their street, neighbours and community. With a more diverse and ageing society, positive action needs to be taken to improve relations in a street.
- Intergenerational communities
Street parties provide a rare opportunity for people of different ages to get together – they meet an average of 8 new neighbours. Street parties can reduce the isolation and fear that is felt by many older people, by enabling them to meet younger people on their streets. >From these introductions the relationships can develop, getting to know each other over time. To develop this we are currently working with Age UK Oxon on a neighbours project in Oxford as part of the Campaign to End Loneliness.
- Creating inter-cultural space
Much of Streets Alive's work has been in very diverse urban communities. With high participation rates of up to 90%, street parties can achieve high inclusion of minority ethnic households. Our survey of 14 street parties showed that 89% thought that their street party 'brought together neighbours with different backgrounds' at least a 'fair amount'.
- Creating shared space through food
Food is a key part of a street party, where everyone can rub shoulders around diverse foods. Sharing food and recipes, cookery lessons and foraging can provide rich ways for neighbours to come together.
In Bristol, streets parties in areas with high proportions of Muslims are held after Ramadan to celebrate Eid feast and break fast with each other.