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In a very broad sense: "A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as norms, religion, values, customs, or identity."[1]

In the context of this wiki, however, 'community' refers to any group that intentionally shares more of the common life and work than an average group does, while striving for the betterment of social and environmental conditions. Even more specifically, we refer to groups of people that contribute to sustainability and respond to climate challenge -- whether directly or indirectly.

Further down you'll find a list of various types of such communities.

Dictionary definition

¸ 'Community' is defined in Oxford Dictionary[2] as:

1 A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. ‘the scientific community’
2 A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. ‘the sense of community that organized religion can provide’
3 Ecology; A group of interdependent organisms of different species growing or living together in a specified habitat. ‘communities of insectivorous birds’

According to the same dictionary the word "community" is Late Middle English derivation from Old French comunete, reinforced by Latin communitas, from communis (common).

The Cambridge Dictionary defines a community as "people living in one particular area or people who are considered as a unit because of their common interests, social group, or nationality."[3]

Other definitions

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) define ‘community’ as "a group of people who have common characteristics or interests. Communities can be defined by: geographical location, race, ethnicity, age, occupation, a shared interest or affinity (such as religion and faith) or other common bonds, such as health need or disadvantage.”

Foundation for Intentional Community (FIC) defines an intentional community as a group of people who have chosen to live together or share resources on the basis of common values.[4]

There are many different ways to approach defining the community, and as M. Scott Peck pointed out in his book The Different Drumm: "we apply community to almost any collection of individuals - a town, a church, a synagogue, a fraternal organization, an apartment complex, a professional association - regardless of how poorly those individuals communicate with each other. It is a false use of the word."[5]

Scott Peck goes on to say that community is "a group of individuals who have learned how to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, and who have developed some significant commitment to 'rejoice together, mourn together,' and to 'delight in each other, make others' conditions our own."[6]

Gerard Delanty writes in his book "Community" that "for sociologists, community had traditionally designated a particular form of social organization based on small groups, such as neighborhoods, the small town or a spatially-bound locality. Anthropologists have applied it to culturally-defined groups, such as minorities. In other usages, community refers to political community, where the emphasis is on citizenship, self-government, civil society and collective identity."[7]

And later on: "the term 'community' does in fact designate both an idea about belonging and a particular social phenomenon, such as expression of longing for community, the search for meaning and solidarity, recognition and collective identities. /.../ There is an unavoidable normative dimension to the claim to community."

Often, communities are defined by boundaries: shared practices and demarked physical and ideological boundaries, which stand in contrast to ‘ordinary’ conditions in the surrounding society. "While community usually refers to an actual group of people interconnected through a shared sense of belonging, a common ‘we’, marked by particular physical and symbolic boundaries, the logic of this type of community /.../ does neither require physical attachment or social containment of a shared identity, nor is it defined in relation to other current groups. Rather, it is loosely composed around an urgent desire to bring about particular sustainable futures. While scholars such as Benedict Anderson (1983) and Anthony Cohen (1985) portray the community as synchronically constituted through internally-shared symbols that are reinforced in relation to other, external, contemporary entities, the contingency of the community is in this case diachronic, as it extends in time towards a potential future outcome."[8]


  1. Wikipedia definition of community
  2. Oxford Dictionary definition of 'community'
  3. Cambridge Dictionary definition of 'community'
  4. Foundation for Intentional Community website, accessed on 7.8.2020
  5. The Different Drumm
  6. True Meaning of Community, M. Scott Peck
  7. Community, Delanty, Gerhard, 2003
  8. The Role of Non-state Actors in the Green Transition: Building a Sustainable Future. Jens Hoff, Quentin Gausset, Simon Lex (eds.) (1 ed.). Routledge. 2019-09-02. ISBN 978-0-429-28039-9. Retrieved 2020-11-12.CS1 maint: others (link)