Guides What is a Community of Place?

What is a Community of Place?

Last updatedJune 12, 2024
AuthorKai Forsyth

Close your eyes and picture the place you call home. Perhaps it’s a bustling city block, a quaint suburban cul-de-sac, or a serene rural hamlet. Now, imagine the web of relationships, shared experiences, and collective identity that bind the people in this place together. That’s the essence of a community of place.

Unlike communities of interest, which form around shared passions or hobbies, or communities of practice, which are based on common professions or skills, a community of place is defined by geographic location. It’s the social fabric that weaves the residents of a particular place together, fostering a sense of belonging, interdependence, and collective responsibility. From ancient villages to modern metropolises, communities of place have always been a fundamental part of the human experience.

Purpose of a Community of Place

The primary purpose of a community of place is to fulfill the shared needs and interests of the people living in a particular locality. It provides a support network, a sense of identity, and a platform for collective action. Members of a community of place often work together to address local challenges, celebrate shared triumphs, and shape the future of their neighborhood or region.

A strong community of place enhances quality of life by fostering social connections, providing access to resources and amenities, and creating a sense of safety and belonging. It allows residents to put down roots, invest in their surroundings, and build a shared narrative and culture. In short, a community of place turns a simple geographic location into a meaningful, supportive home.

Examples of Communities of Place

Communities of place exist at various scales and levels of formality. Some emerge organically over time, while others are intentionally designed or governed. Here are a few examples:

Urban communities: An urban community is a densely populated locality, typically a city or town, characterized by a diverse population, complex infrastructure, and a wide range of economic and social activities.

Suburban communities: A suburban community is a residential area on the outskirts of a city, characterized by lower population density, more spacious housing, and a greater dependence on cars for transportation.

Rural communities: A rural community is a sparsely populated area, often characterized by agricultural or natural resource-based economies, strong social ties, and a slower pace of life.

Neighborhood communities: A neighborhood community is a subarea within a larger urban or suburban area, often with its own distinct character, amenities, and sense of identity.

Regional communities: A regional community is a larger geographic area encompassing multiple towns or cities, bound together by shared economic, cultural, or environmental ties.

National communities: A national community is a community of people who share a national identity, regardless of their specific location within the country.

Global communities: A global community is the worldwide community of people, transcending national boundaries and connected by shared interests, challenges, and technologies.

Characteristics of a Community of Place

While each community of place is unique, they often share some common characteristics:

Geographic boundedness: A community of place is defined by a shared physical location, whether it’s a neighborhood, town, city, or region. This shared geography creates a sense of boundedness and distinctiveness.

Shared identity: Members of a community of place often develop a collective sense of identity tied to their locality. This can be based on shared history, culture, values, challenges, or aspirations.

Social interaction: Regular social interaction, whether through formal gatherings or informal daily encounters, knits a community of place together. This interaction fosters relationships, trust, and a sense of belonging.

Common interests: Residents of a community of place often share common interests and concerns related to their locality, such as the quality of local schools, the vitality of the local economy, or the preservation of local natural resources.

Collective action: A strong community of place serves as a platform for collective action. Residents often come together to advocate for shared interests, address local challenges, and shape the future of their place.


A community of place is a group of people bound together by their shared geography and the social relationships, collective identity, and common interests that emerge from living in the same locality. Communities of place foster quality of life, resilience, and collective action. When people feel connected to their place and to each other, they are more likely to invest their time, energy, and resources into making their community thrive.

Start a customer community for free

Create a community for your product in just a few minutes.