European Network for Community Wellbeing and Resilience

How do communities define, measure and experience wellbeing and resilience? How do community-owned spaces contribute to these characteristics? How can community-led regeneration thrive without being co-opted by commercial interests? This project aims to initiate a European network dedicated to exploring these questions.

Spaces and movements that emerge from and are guided by collective decision-making in local communities are powerful in nurturing wellbeing but simultaneously vulnerable to vested interests. The positive impacts they generate in a locality can be hijacked by private developers – supported by municipal policies – who redevelop and commercialise an area to the detriment of local residents. How can community-led initiatives avoid resulting in such gentrification? How can they thrive without inadvertently triggering their own destruction by commercial forces?

The team will organise a symposium in Bristol for urban and community researchers, community groups running cultural and community spaces, and intentional land-based communities from across Europe. Participants will explore definitions, frameworks, methodologies, strategies and tools for community wellbeing and resilience, initiating a European network for sharing solidarity, research and the co-creation of resources. The network will focus on mitigating gentrification and reconstituting regeneration as a community-centred and community-led process, while examining the role of community ownership of buildings as a strategy for wellbeing and resilience.

Who are the team and what do they bring?