From Reliable Prosperity:
Community is the convivial, day-to-day gathering of people of all ages and kinds to maintain family and friendships; transact business; establish neighborhoods; and join in common purpose. It provides for several fundamental needs: participation, identity, a shared story, and health. It is at the root of what it means to be human, and constitutes one of the most critical components of society. It helps replace apparent needs for conspicuous consumption with the genuine benefits of solidarity and companionship.
Communities are the incubators for cultural diversity and cultural preservation. They allow people of many different races, faiths, and worldviews to enrich each other, providing an enduring sense of security. Communities enhance social equity by providing a variety of safety nets — including religious organizations, neighborhood associations, and non-profit entities — that help marginalized people meet their needs.
Communities that engage in deep dialogue about their values and direction create significant societies. This cultivation of civic society reduces the kind of polarization that has recently characterized everything from natural resources to transportation planning. It also prepares the way for a just transition to reliable prosperity that has widespread support and commitment.