Socially Connected Communities

We work with local leaders to strengthen social connectedness within their communities through strategies that build relationships between neighbors, improve trust, and foster an overall sense of community and belonging.

Social isolation is not a personal problem, but one that is rooted in community design, social norms, and systemic injustices that keep people and neighborhoods apart.

In recent decades, people in the United States and around the world have experienced soaring rates of social isolation, with profound impacts on health and well-being.

The good news is that strong social connections can boost a person's lifespan by 50%.

Through community-led change, we can reshape our neighborhoods to make it easier for people to build meaningful social connections.

Take Action in Your Community

Healthy Places by Design works with local leaders to bake social connection into their community, focusing on opportunities within five areas:

Here are just a few of the places we're working:

Boston, Massachusetts

Charlotte, North Carolina

Mat-Su Borough, Alaska


Curious to learn more?

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Explore Solutions for Social Isolation

Our foundational report Socially Connected Communities: Solutions for Social Isolation offers five recommendations for creating socially connected communities, starting with public spaces, transportation, and housing.



One Page Report Overview

Action Guide for Philanthropic Leaders

Action Guide for Local Government and Community Leaders 


Join Local Leaders Creating Socially Connected Communities

Healthy Places by Design hosts a learning network that brings together local government, community, and philanthropic leaders to explore concepts, ideas, and community-level strategies that reduce social isolation and strengthen social ties, especially for those who are most marginalized.  This learning network began in 2020 and the format and topics evolve each year.  Please click “Join the Network” to learn more about the current learning network.

Join the network


Previous Topic-Based Session Summaries:

More Great Examples of Committed Leaders Addressing Social Isolation

From Honolulu to NYC, Intergenerational Strategies Are Tackling Social Isolation

Measuring Social Connectedness in Communities

How Two Funders Support Socially Connected Communities

Increasing Social Connectedness in Rural Settings 

Read the Latest

If you're working on or interested in strengthening social connection in your community, please reach out. We'd love to talk about ways we can work together!

Contact Us