Maximizing Your City's Friendship Dividend

If Jane Jacobs's theory that face-to-face encounters make for better cities is correct, a new metric that measures the ability of a city to encourage random social interactions could prove essential in shaping urban policy.

"In a pair of recent papers, Steven Farber, an assistant professor of geography at the University of Utah, and his collaborators have proposed a new metric to measure the latent possibilities for community in cities without proximity: 'social interaction potential,' ” reports Greg Lindsay. "SIP represents the intersecting slivers of space-time in which any random pair of a city’s residents can meet based on where they live, where they work, and, given those, how long they have to rendezvous."

"The usefulness of the metric depends on linking face-to-face encounters with higher quality of life and economic growth--which, given the rich body of literature on the subject from Jane Jacobs’s The Economy of Cities onward, seems likely."

Full Story: The Best Cities Are Ones Where You Can Make Friends

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