Communityness Webinar

June 28, 2017 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Communityness” is the feeling that people experience when they feel connected to the place they live. It is the feeling of being a part of something larger, connected to your neighbors and fellow community members, a feeling of engagement and the sense of responsibility for the community at large. Cities and towns that foster a sense of “communityness” benefit in a myriad of ways including more engaged citizens, healthier politics, and increased talent retention and attraction. This session will explore this concept in three parts. First, what it means, and how to identify a place that has it. Second, the benefits of “communityness,” including health, social, engagement, politics, and economics. The final part will explore what community leaders can do to try and foster a sense of “communityness.”

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Jeff Siegler

Jeff is passionate about places and has spent his career assisting cities and towns to strengthen their sense of community. Back in 2001, while Jeff was working on a ranch in Montana, he got involved with an organization concerned with protecting land along the upper Yellowstone River. This sparked a lifelong interest in the connection between land and lifestyle and how place affects people. Jeff took this experience and grew it into a career. He has been able to couple his economics and urban planning education and background to provide unique insights for communities seeking to grow their economy and attract new talent while minimizing the use of local resources. He got his start working for a tax credit developer in Richmond and through this experience Jeff learned first hand the impact real estate has on community and continues to focus and build on the intersection of these two concepts. For the last decade, Jeff has been working hands on with midwest communities to help them revitalize their downtowns, grow the local tax base and improve the quality of life for residents. During this time he has successfully advocated for the passage of vital policies at the state and local level to make cities stronger and assisted dozens of towns in altering their trajectory. Jeff has been fortunate to pursue his passion around the country and internationally and has no plans to stop working for cities that work better for people. Practicing what he preaches, Jeff lives in a traditional Pittsburgh neighborhood where his son and daughter walk to school and Jeff can walk, bike and take the train to everything else.

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