Defining Your Community

Defining your community is an important first step in planning and organising community action. Being able to define and describe the key characteristics of your community will allow you to understand the dynamics of your community, and to track changes over time.

There are two main factors to consider:

Firstly, you have to consider geography. How would you describe your community within the natural landscape? How spread out or compact are your community members from each other or from the village/town centre? How do transport and accessibility affect community members?

Secondly, consider household demographics. What is the population like in the households within your community? Consider age structure, poverty/income, employment status, main employment categories or educational attainment. There are resources out there which can help you gather data on your community in terms of various demographics factors.

Case Studies

These case studies will provide a reference guide for you in defining your own community. Note that photos, maps, and videos can all assist to build an engaging and vibrant picture of your community.

  • Ross of Mull and Iona Community Plan

A detailed overview of defined community is provided in the Ross of Mull & Iona written report. This provides an overview of population, physical infrastructure, business, employment and the economy, culture and heritage, community facilities and social infrastructure, with a detailed section on each element. 

  • Glenbarr Community Investment Plan and Video

The Glenbarr Community Investment Plan pages 1 – 2  provides a summary of defined community in terms of geography and population context (households, demographics, physical infrastructure, etc).

Glenbarr Community Investment Video gives a good video example of the defined community. Video resources can be useful to bring your plans to life and showcase your ideas to external stakeholders or funders. A summarised video is also provided.

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