Productivity Through Density

People naturally want to be near each other, which some suggest is one explanation for the increasing urbanization and densification of the world. Edward L. Glaeser argues that the information-based economy will push that trend even further.
April 14, 2010, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Understanding the appeal of proximity - the economic advantages of agglomeration - helps make sense of the past and future of cities. If people still clustered together primarily to reduce the costs of moving manufactured goods, then cities would become increasingly irrelevant as transportation costs continue to decline.

If cities serve, as I believe, primarily, to connect people and enable them to learn from one another, than an increasingly information-intensive economy will only make urban density more valuable."

He cites a study that shows economic productivity increasing with metropolitan density, and looks at some of the reasons why.

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Published on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 in The New York Times
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