Stories

5 Ways to Love Your City

By SA2020 | Feb 18 2015

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, show a little love to San Antonio.

Living in a city is kinda like being in a relationship, right? There are things you fell in love with at first sight, new things you learn every day, and also those little things that bug you sometimes. But we all know if you really want to make it together, you have to celebrate the good all the time, and work together to fix anything else.

This isn’t just romantic nonsense – the idea that we are in a relationship with our city is actually supported by research. Urbanist Charles Montgomery has explored the relationship between a city’s built environment and the psychology of that community in a book called Happy City. In one instance, the former Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia returned massive amounts of public land that had been privatized, establishing huge pedestrian and bike boulevards in poor, busy neighborhoods and hiring top architects to design beautiful library parks in neglected communities.

Travis-Park-1

The revitalization of Travis Park downtown brought a lot of excited, happy-looking park goers into this outdoor space.

 

Almost immediately, people in Bogotá reported being happier. Their city had shown them love, and in response people also became healthier, more literate, and crime rates dropped. Air quality improved, stress levels went down, and the city got stronger as a result. This phenomenon has been documented in multiple cities, including Vancouver, New York, and Paris.

Sounds like what happens in a healthy relationship, right?

And just like any good relationship, a healthy community requires give and take. San Antonio gives us so much – beautiful landscapes, a strong and growing economy, exciting and vibrant culture – and we can give back by devoting our time, talents, and energy to causes that will help San Antonio stay strong and grow stronger.

SA2020 <3’s SA

SA2020 definitely loves San Antonio. The people of this city told us what they cared about by creating the community vision back in 2010, and we show our love by working every day to be a catalyst for progress toward that vision, measuring progress toward our goals and supporting the work of partners throughout the city. You’ll also find SA2020 staff all over town — either attending events or volunteering time — because we seriously love being a part of this community.

volunteers

SA2020 measures progress, engages the public and supports the work of partners throughout the community whose collective work helps us reach our vision for the future.

So this year amidst all the love of Valentine’s week, think about including your city on the list to show you care.

There are many ways to love your city – you can make a pledge to recycle more and use less water and energy, you can take a bike ride and explore our city’s massive network of parks, or you can find an opportunity below to volunteer your time toward making our city stronger.

You can also look through our long list of SA2020 Partners who would greatly benefit from some financial love. Instead of roses or overpriced chocolate, why not give a donation in a loved-one’s name? That way, your thoughtful gift does double duty – for your special someone, and your special city.

5 Ways to Love Your City:

1. Attend a play or art show

Attending arts and cultural events in our city helps support the cultural vitality of our community. Check out the new Spring Hudson (Show)Room & Window Works at Artpace, or get tickets for any of the upcoming shows from The Playhouse or Woodlawn Theater.

2. Advocate for an abused or neglected child

If you care particularly about the safety and future of children in our community, join Child Advocates of San Antonio (CASA) for an information session on becoming a volunteer advocate for a child in foster care.

3. Volunteer for or become a member of a museum

Show your support for education and culture in our community by becoming a member of a museum like Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, the San Antonio Children’s Museum, the San Antonio Museum of Art, and The Witte Museum, just to name a few.

4. Become a Mentor

If you’re interested in directly contributing to the future of our community, mentoring youth through transitions in their lives is one amazing way. You can find mentoring opportunities with Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, THRU Project, or SAYouth, all  partners of SA2020 who’s work helps move the needle on our collective goals for the city.

5. Donate to SA2020

Have a friend or loved one who’s passion for San Antonio is obvious? Can’t stop talking about the future of our city? Make a donation to SA2020 in their name (or yours, you can love SA too!) and show them you support our progress toward a stronger San Antonio.

 

If these opportunities don’t speak to you, you can find many more on our website here, or simply search for a partner whose mission speaks to your heart and sign up to get involved.

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