If someone had told me when I graduated from university what my path would be personally and professionally, well…I would have told them they were more than a little crazy. The winding road led me through Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, and many other cities for visits and conferences. But once my wife and I were married and planning a family, we first landed in Vienna 17 years ago. Over that period, we left and returned for the same reason many people say, the sense of community.  What is that sense of community? Professionals in land use planning will tell you it is about people, place and activity.

But what builds that unspoken feeling? For us, it is all the people we meet and join in activities together whether around schools, athletics, town events, service organizations, government and other civic and neighborhood activities. For others, it is a park to relax in and town square to walk around, restaurants to stroll to, and stores to window shop.

One of the questions we, as residents and businesses, need to reconcile is what is that distinctive sense of community that is Vienna? How is it different for people? How do we maintain and encourage it? What do we do to address the increasing pressure from places Tysons, Merrifield, and Falls Church that affect us?

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