A Few Things You Can Do to Make Your City a Better Place

Your city is your home, even if it doesn’t feel that way all the time. If you happen to live in a city you absolutely love and would never consider moving elsewhere, you are very fortunate indeed. Perhaps your city provides you a level of freedom that makes you feel alive and unleashed to be your best self at all times. That is not to say there aren’t things that can be improved. It is just to say that if you are in a place where you are free to be yourself, don’t take it for granted.

If, however, you happen to be one of the people who feel trapped in a hostile environment that is stifling you at every turn and feels comically oppressive, you have three options:

  1. Stay and do nothing.
  2. Stay and do something about it.
  3. Pick up and leave as fast as you can.

The thing about being trapped is that you can’t just pick up and leave anytime you like. If you could, you probably would. Even if moving was an option, there are reasons to stick around and try to make things better for the ones you love who are also stuck. Whether large or small, there are meaningful things you can do to make your city a better place. Here are a few:

Become a City Planner

Some cities were not so much planned as they were extruded from the ooze of unfortunate circumstances. Sometimes, towns just happen. And eventually, those towns become cities. And those cities become problems for future generations. You might just live in such a city. A lot of people do. Those cities are not hopeless. With a little help from you, they could be on the verge of true renaissance.

One thing you can do is learn how to become a city planner and put your newfound expertise at work in your city. It is perfectly okay to think big and dream bigger. The person currently holding the job is no different from you except for the fact that they learned what it is they needed to do and placed themselves in the position of being able to help when the opening was available. So much of public service is being in position to help. You might want to be a firefighter when the big blaze sets half the forest alight. But you can only be of real help if you have prepared yourself in advance. Don’t sit around and let your city be planned by someone else when your ideas are better and could make a real difference.

Create More Pet-Friendly Spaces

Do you run a business? Consider the benefits of running a pet-friendly office. Everyone talks about how beneficial pets are. But no one wants to make it easy for people to have and care for pets. You could be an agent of change by turning your office into a pet-friendly office.

With permission from whoever owns that vacant lot two doors down, you can turn it into a community dog park. That would not only encourage responsible pet ownership in your neighborhood, it would facilitate outdoor activity and camaraderie among your neighbors. You can even establish a pet rescue for pets that need to be rehomed. When your city is a better place for pets, it is a better place for everyone.


They say all politics is local politics. When we think of infrastructure, we think big picture. But first and foremost, infrastructure is local. If you want your city to marshal their infrastructure resources more effectively, you have to get involved. And the best way to do that is to vote people into power who are aligned with your priorities. In doing so, you will be voting people out of office who don’t. You can also run for local office such as city council member. Do you have kids in school? Get appointed to the school board. Take the position that other people don’t want. Then make the most out of the opportunity to make a difference.

You don’t have to feel helpless and trapped. You have options. So whether you become the next city planner, open a pet-friendly space, or vote responsibly, you can be actively involved in making your city a better place for everyone.

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