Connected to place is about finding meaning, happiness and hope in our everyday lives and communities. Solutions to our daunting environmental and social problems lie in strengthening our relationships to the people, nature and organizations in our local context. Living deeply connected to place is entirely possible but requires supportive conditions and changes in how we approach everyday life.
Connected to place is about our everyday quality of life, anchored in the following elements.
- Neighborhood and community bonds are a foundation.
- Nature is abundant, accessible and nearby.
- Public space is safe, attractive and car-free.
- Transportation modes promote active, healthy living and strengthen individual ties to community and place.
- Energy is locally produced and conserved.
- Food is local, healthy and seasonal.
- Material goods are shared and treasured with minimal waste.
- Local businesses, products and services are abundant.
- Schools emphasize place-based education in which students learn within and from their community and local nature.
Matt Biggar, Ph.D., is Principal of Connected to Place (www.connectedtoplace.com) and a strategy consultant who supports the planning, implementation and assessment of cross-sector partnerships for healthy, sustainable communities. Matt works with clients at the local, regional and state level to advance climate action, sustainable living and place-based education. His approach leverages research-based, practice-informed insights on building partnerships for social change and changing human behavior patterns to improve communities, the environment and our quality of life. He has 25 years of professional experience as an organizational leader, educator, researcher and consultant. He earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education in 2015 where his research involved behavioral science, sustainable transportation and collective impact.