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Museum of Women’s History- This Billings, Montana museum contains exhibits-including clothing and other artifacts- on women’s history ranging from the Victorian period to modern times. The library and research room contains blogs, videos, and archives related to women’s history.

Western Heritage Center- This Billings center educates visitors on life in the Yellowstone River Valley and Northern Plains. Housing a collection of thousands of objects like photographs, artifacts, and western art, the museum offers interactive children’s activities to help children interpret the museum’s exhibits.

There is no simple definition of a ‘better community’. The term implies a clean, safe, and healthy community with access to social infrastructure, public spaces, housing, and other neighborhood offerings. Public agencies work in partnership with community members to plan and deliver better services.

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A better community is also, to a considerable degree, a ‘complete community’ in the sense that many day-to-day activities are within easy reach of residents. Moreover, ‘completeness’ means that everyone who works or in some way is engaged there, whether a well-paid professional or a modestly paid pre-school teacher, has the means to live there. A characteristic trait of better communities, then, is that they embrace diversity, whether in terms of the make-up of land uses, the range of housing costs, or their sociocultural compositions. With a sense of belonging and identity stimulated in such communities, they experience high levels of well-being. Key indicators for a better community are, therefore, safety, health, prosperity, equity, and identity, as demonstrated in Figure 2.1.

Who creates a good community and how is it done? For the last two decades, urban design theorists have discussed the nature of better communities and where responsibility lies. Some conclude that public spaces such as streets and urban squares act as the center of activity within a community. By promoting greater interaction between people, public spaces bind the community together. Other theorists conclude that the way in which people use and colonize public spaces builds a shared sense of belonging and ownership and enhanced communal spirit and identity. All agree that places where people want to be- to live, work, shop, or play-must have high-quality public ‘realms’, meaning that streets, sidewalks, parks, transit stations, and other public spaces become hubs of shared communal experiences.

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