Porch Culture is a thing

Several years back, I was visiting an elderly woman in my Quaker meeting. She was reminiscing about her childhood. I asked her what she missed the most. She closed her eyes a moment thinking back, then said, “Porch talk. I miss the porch talk.” Social scientists and preachers offer a number of reasons for the decline of civil society: broken homes, poverty, disease, television and increasing secularism, to name a few. I believe all that is wrong with our world can be attributed to the shortage of front porches and the talks we had on them. Somewhere around 1950, builders left off the front porch to save money, and we’ve had nothing but problems ever since.

From Porch Talk LP, Chapter One: "Porch Talk," which I have not read in its entirety, but intend to. It may seem like false and far-fetched criticism (there are many ways to play this particular blame-game), but—with my experience and deep interest in urban planning and design—I believe a lot of our modern crime and community problems could be improved upon with the consideration of porches. Leaving your porch light on, meeting your neighbor, adding eyes on the street—that's easy, powerful stuff.