“It is surprising. There is a crucial sense of community lacking in the metropolitan areas.”
William O’Hare, co-author of a new study (.pdf) released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, talking about the plight of poor kids in rich US states. (found in the December 10th 2007 issue of Time Magazine).
In my opinion, urbanization in the 20th century has reduced the sense of community in large urban areas. We don’t know our neighbors (and neighborhoods?) anymore. It actually has become awkward to introduce ourselves to our neighbors. But, as Man is really a gregarious creature (we like to live in “tribes”), I’m a firm believer that the local social web will, in the future, help re-build the social tissue in large cities. These new web tools will allow us to maintain a basic privacy layer while removing some of the awkwardness in the system.