Online neighbourhood spaces
While COVID-19 saw an increase in virtual platforms being used to connect people and places together, spaces of online connection had already been playing an important role in bringing people in neighbourhoods together. There are multiple ways that spaces of the online create their own virtual communities, while also facilitating face-to- face connections between them.
Rather than existing in isolation several of these platforms provide multiple avenues to enhance people’s sense of belonging to a group and strengthen neighbourhood connectedness.
There is a balance to be maintained with the online circles, in which an increased dependence on the online world can inadvertently enhance the segregation of individuals away from valuable in-person contact. Working with the physical world, however, online circles can help create bridges to connect people and places together and facilitate stronger relationships within local neighbourhoods.