May 9, 2023

Porch Culture

Sonia Thompson

Would you believe that a good front porch culture can combat loneliness?

A recent article in the Christian Science Monitor suggests that it can. In an article titled "Won’t you be my neighbor? How porch culture fights loneliness," Mississippian Campbell McCool says, “Front porch culture is just friendliness. It’s community, it’s interaction. It is wanting to have real community in the true sense of the word with neighbors and friends or potential friends. It’s an analog lifestyle in a digital world,” says McCool, founder of a neighborhood development that is close to Splinter Creek.

The U.S. surgeon general this month declared an epidemic of loneliness and isolation, saying that 1 in 2 adults reported experiencing loneliness even before the pandemic. According to the article, "at a time when neighborliness is decreasing and Americans are growing further apart, some are intentionally building relationships within their communities. Central to a culture of neighborliness, many say, are front porches."

Splinter Creek has long advocated for the front porch, elevating the idea a step further with communal docks, outdoor spaces, and the Community Porch, an area designed to serve the whole neighborhood. Located on a point on the North Lake, the Community Porch belongs to all Splinter Creek residents. It features a fire pit, boat ties, and a covered pavilion with seating.

"It's place for people to gather, sit on a chair, have a cocktail, watch the sunset, sunrise, stars, grab a blanket, sit next to the fire," says Community Porch designer Matt Muller. "Many people have a front porch for their house. This is the front porch for the community."

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