This from the CEOs for Cities blog…
"Density and diversity, according to a new article in Psychology Today, give urban dwellers a potential edge. For every doubling in city size, there's a 14 to 27 percent increase in productivity per worker, and psychologists and others are trying to explain why. They believe the gains "can be linked to having more and different people to meet, and more meeting places—parks, coffee shops, parties, or simply the sidewalk.
"City dwellers have more places to hang out, and they tend to know more people. Meredith Rolfe, a political sociologist at Oxford, studies social networks through large-sample surveys. While there are only small variations in the numbers of close friends people report having, she's found that 'acquaintance networks'—the so-called 'weak ties' that are most helpful in finding a job or stock tip—range wildly in size, from 500 to 10,000, depending in part on methodology and in part on whether a person lives in a city."
Some places generate more conversation than others. One study found people are 10 times more likely to have a conversation while shopping at a farmer's market than at a supermarket. With a relaxed pace and farmers ready to tell stories about unfamiliar vegetables, the market is a social setting."