Youth Neighborhood Mapping Initiative



White board or something to write on that the entire group can see


30-60 minutes depending on group size and time desired


Begin by discussing with the group what they think the meaning of community is and how it applies to their area.  Once a general definition of community is agreed upon, have the group define and discuss what is meant by commonality. 

Divide the group into pairs and have them discuss and discover a connection or commonality between them.  The first pair that discovers a connection between them should raise their hand and tell the group what the connection is (they go to the same church, went to the same restaurant last night, etc).  After they explain the connection to the group, have them write their names and the connection on the board and draw a line between them.  Ask the group if anyone else shares the same connection and add their name if so.

Rotate groups and repeat the exercise as many times as desired.  At the end of the exercise, there should be a web of names and connections drawn on the board.  Explain to the group that the web represents community; it’s all of the connections both seen and unseen that draw a group of people together.  Even though the participants may not know each other, there is still something that binds them together which is what we refer to as “community”. 

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2013 Mid-South Planning and Zoning Institute. 


Click on the image above for a recap.

2011 Planners Network Conference

The U of M Graduate Program in City & Regional Planning hosted a successful 2011 Planners Network International Conference. For more information, visit the conference web site.

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ReGenerations: The Youth Neighborhood Mapping Initiative

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Listen to a discussion of the Youth Neighborhood Mapping Initiative on Smart City Radio. Click here to download the broadcast.

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Last Updated: 12/4/11