Our Man In London was involved in the UK's recent Big Lunch last Sunday (developed by The Eden Project, and yes they remind me of something out of Children of Men...). The premise of this event was to get neighbors to have lunch together, like a street party almost. Long/short, this seems like a very cool idea; have lunch, meet people, kids playing etc... one of the few times we have met our neighbors was when the street's power went out one evening. Everyone came out on their front steps and we toddled up and down as a family. Thanks to the magic of the internets, I found a vimeo someone took at OMIL's big lunch... clock him in the green windbreaker below. Zing! More images via BBC Slidehow.
The following from the Big Lunch press release last March-
"There are a record number of single-person households. 300,000 elderly people in the UK can go a month without speaking to a family member or a neighbour. 5.4 million people work from home which can also be isolating. There is more anxiety about crime and personal safety on our doorstep. Personal happiness, reduction in street crime, and many other positive factors are directly linked to the number of neighbours with whom we have a good relationship.
The day after the Big Lunch, people will walk down their street and know someone in most windows. Crucially, we hope to make permanent changes in these rejuvenated communities by giving people the tools to take up or strengthen activities such as neighbourhood-watch; improving local amenities such as youth centres; taking care of the elderly or disabled; making imaginative improvements to the local environment; sharing resources from lawnmowers to cars; and supporting local charities both with money and volunteering time."