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.

"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.

Full Story: Why Humanity Loves, and Needs, Cities

Comments

Comments

Reasons for increasing urbanization

Economic policies forcing people off their rural lands and into cities for employment is one of the major causes of urbanization in "developing" countries, not love of cities.

Villages are a much more human-scaled, "natural" form of habitation than cities.

People who grew up in the suburbs and now want to live in the city are in part because the suburbs have not met important social functions of cohesion and culture. This is a plus for cities but reflects the need to improve suburbs.

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00