Neighbourliness Builds Community Resilience: Neighbourhood Networks in Edmonton During the COVID-19 Pandemic




Harvey, Anne

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Research shows that the place-based nature of neighbourhood networks makes them viable places to build social capital and community resilience. Neighbourliness is key to people’s resilience and readiness to cope with and adapt to difficult situations. This community-based research project applied a qualitative methodological approach to explore how involvement in neighbourhood networks affected people in Edmonton, Alberta during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a literature review and a narrative analysis of semi-structured interviews with key informants from three different neighbourhoods, the project tested the hypothesis that involvement in neighbourhood networks in Edmonton during the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to increased neighbourliness and social capital, which led to benefits that increased community resilience, disaster preparedness and quality of life. The research included a look at Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) as an enabler of neighbourhood networks, and specifically highlighted the Abundant Community Edmonton approach within the social landscape of Edmonton community leagues. The findings were organized into six themes: Involvement in Neighbourhood Networks; Belonging and Connection; Neighbourliness and Reciprocity; Responsibility and Purpose; Safety and Security; and Supporting Processes and Resources. The findings and recommendations put forward are intended for individuals and groups seeking to start, join or support place-based community development initiatives such as neighbourhood networks.



neighbourliness, neighbourhood networks, community resilience, social capital, Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), place-based approach, Abundant Community, Block Connectors, community leagues, COVID-19 pandemic