“Urban planning can facilitate friendship–and the Catholic Church can help”: I’m in America

“Urban planning can facilitate friendship–and the Catholic Church can help”: I’m in America February 21, 2022

with a sort of overstuffed article that I do think contains some good & interesting quotes, possibilities, and framing:

…People live in cities for the opportunity to have connections like these. They should be the easiest places to make friends. Unlike the suburbs, which were explicitly designed around the car, the city offers the three conditions that foster friendship, as the sociologist Rebecca G. Adams told The New York Times in 2012: “proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other.” Cities have row houses and corner stores, sidewalks and skate parks, buses where friends might meet and parks where they might stroll or chat.

But our cities are not living up to their promise.

Classical philosophers like Aristotle and Cicero viewed friendship as fundamental to civic life. Friendship was meant to fill the public square; in a sense, friendship creates public life, as one of the primary ways people move beyond domestic concerns into the broader life of the city. And yet our own cities fail to foster friendship precisely because they are too often planned around the needs of the same kind of person who served as the ideal citizen of much ancient philosophy: male, respected and privileged, unencumbered by poverty or by dependents who need his care. To the extent that our cities are built for autonomous individuals, they are built against friendship.

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