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

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00