Community Trends For Consideration

The community trends listed here may or may not impact your particular community. It is however a good list to begin deeper discussion and research about whether or not there is a readiness to respond to emerging trends.



  • Amalgamation of local governments and institutions

  • Aging population

  • Biomimicry (innovation inspired by nature)

  • Built Environments - understanding the impact of our environment on health

  • Changing volunteer profiles (more seniors with more time and a need for meaning in their lives, fewer youth involved)

  • Citizens have less affinity to their geographic community

  • Continued urbanization

  • Creative Communities (places that attract a class of workers whose function requires thinking or creating and thus can choose where they live)

  • Data Overload

  • Development of Brownfields (abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities)

  • Devolution of services to lower levels of government and the voluntary sector

  • Diminished influence of senior governments

  • Ecological Footprints/Green Building

  • EduTourism/EcoTourism

  • Experiential hedonism (search for happiness through experience)

  • Free time available in smaller segments

  • Genuine Progress Index/Green Accounting (replacing Gross Domestic Product as better ways of measuring what matters in communities)

  • Greater divide between 'haves' and 'have nots'

  • Greater flexibility of gender, roles and equity of sexes

  • Increased interest in environmental stewardship

  • Increased substance abuse (drugs) for diversion or to reduce stress

  • Increasing ethnic diversity

  • Influence of technology contributing to a 'global village'

  • Easier to act on intrinsic need to be involved in a community of interest

  • Jobs are not a fixed list of tasks but instead a list of targeted outcomes

  • Learning Communities/Lifelong Learning becoming more important

  • Less trust in government and large institutions

  • Longer period for retirement

  • More flexible work time and place

  • More people with special needs

  • More desire to be involved in decision-making

  • Nature Deficit Disorder

  • People feel stressed/rushed

  • Pressure to seek alternative work models

  • Processing speeds and power will continue to increase dramatically so that multi-media interfaces will become easier

  • Public focus on achieving results vs. delivery of services

  • Reduction in public sector spending

  • 'Sandwich' generation (those squeezed between caring for elderly parents as well as their own children)

  • Sedentary youth lifestyles impacting health

  • Smaller households

  • Smart Growth/Infilling in communities

  • More interest in spiritual quests

  • Systems Thinking (recognition of the need for a 360 degree perspective i.e. of an organization or community)

  • Weakening concept of the stand alone 'professional'

  • Wireless communication technology will allow people to communicate from anywhere

  • Youth un/underemployment resulting in youth poverty


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