Chapter 10 of Levy’s book focuses on the importance and role of urban design in various communities. One particular section focuses on the neighborhood. Levy suggests that in many suburbs, there is less interaction between members of the community because people are so spread out. He uses a convenience store as an example; in a city, people walk down the street and greet one another at the store, in a suburb, there is no convenience store or it is much to far to walk to. This idea shows that in a suburb there is little walking around and as a result less of a community feel. This gives rise to the question, are cities all around more enjoyable and productive places to live?
Cities provide an array of resources within a walkable distance. This ability to walk allows people to build a sense of community. While walking down the street, people can say hi to one another and become acquainted with their neighbors. Another perk that allows a community to develop in a city is public transportation. A similar affect results from taking public transportation that happens while walking. Connections are built that enrich the culture of the given area. It is difficult to build this sense of community when everyone is driving in their own cars in areas where homes and retail are spread out.
Due to the close proximity in cities, it serves as a cultural hub for interdisciplinary intermingling. In other words, individuals from different backgrounds of expertise can come together to share ideas and collaborate. This concept dates way back to the first cities like Rome. The center of the city was the central meeting point for great minds to tell stories, shop, find work, etc. A modern day city acts similarly in having a large amount of resources in arms length of its inhabitants.
Urban design plays a role in how communities are shaped and how individuals in the community interact. Designers can shape and place structure to create a certain feel in the neighborhood which directly affects the experience of the inhabitants. Future and current designers can increase inhabitants experience by focusing on designs that keep the community in mind and as a result can create more active and healthier communities.