The Malta Independent 2 December 2023, Saturday
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Cultivating stronger civic sense: A pillar of thriving communities

Sunday, 17 September 2023, 09:38 Last update: about 4 months ago

Marija Sara Vella Gafà

In today's fast-paced and interconnected world, fostering a stronger civic sense has become more crucial than ever before. A vibrant and healthy society relies on individuals who actively participate in their communities, demonstrating a commitment to the greater good. Civic sense is not merely a set of rules or etiquettes; it reflects our collective responsibility towards building a better community for ourselves and future generations.


Civic sense encompasses a range of behaviors and attitudes that promote a harmonious and orderly coexistence within a community. It involves respecting public spaces, obeying laws, and regulations, and actively engaging in activities that benefit the community at large. It is the foundation upon which strong, resilient societies are built.

The benefits of a strong civic sense are far-reaching. First and foremost, it enhances the quality of life within a community. Clean and well-maintained public spaces, reduced crime rates, and efficient public services contribute to a more comfortable and secure environment for all residents.

Moreover, civic sense fosters social cohesion. People who actively engage in community activities, whether through volunteering or participating in local events, build meaningful connections with their neighbors, enhancing social bonds and unity.

Strong civic sense also leads to improved governance. Communities with an active and engaged citizenry are more likely to hold their elected officials accountable. This accountability results in better governance, as leaders are motivated to address the needs and concerns of their constituents.

Economically, a strong civic sense can boost local economies. When residents take pride in their community and its public spaces, it attracts businesses, tourists, and investments, ultimately leading to economic growth and job opportunities.

Building a stronger civic sense begins at home and in schools, where young minds are shaped. Parents and educators play a pivotal role in instilling values of respect, responsibility, and empathy in children. These values form the foundation for good citizenship.

Local governments also have a role to play in nurturing civic sense. They can invest in community-building programs, parks, and public spaces that encourage residents to come together and take ownership of their neighborhoods. Additionally, public education campaigns and workshops can help raise awareness about the importance of civic responsibility.

Leaders and influencers in society have a unique opportunity to set an example for others. By actively participating in community service and demonstrating a commitment to civic values, they inspire others to follow suit. High-profile individuals can use their platforms to promote the importance of civic sense and encourage their followers to engage in meaningful community activities.

While the benefits of a stronger civic sense are evident, there are challenges to overcome. In some cases, apathy, cynicism, and individualism can hinder community engagement. To address these challenges, it's essential to create opportunities for people to connect with their communities in meaningful ways. This might involve organising neighbourhood clean-up events, community gardens, or local cultural festivals.

Moreover, technology can be harnessed to promote civic engagement. Online platforms and social media can serve as tools to connect residents, share information about community events, and mobilize volunteers for various initiatives.

In conclusion, a stronger civic sense is the cornerstone of thriving and resilient communities. It benefits individuals, neighborhoods, and society at large by enhancing the quality of life, promoting social cohesion, and fostering economic prosperity. It is a shared responsibility that starts with the values we instill in our children, extends to the actions of local governments, and is reinforced by the examples set by leaders and influencers. By nurturing civic sense, we can build a brighter future for our communities and generations to come.

Marija Sara Vella Gafà – Gudja Mayor and a Labour Party candidate for the European Parliament Elections

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