(Re) shaping cities to combat inequality

IMAGE: data from two Hungarian cities, namely Goedoelloe (b) and Ajka (c), show that economic inequality (expressed by the Gini index) is highest in Goedoelloe, where social networks are strongly … view more

Credit: Nature Communications (February 18, 2021); the authors of the article

[Vienna, Feb 18, 2021] Communities around the world are trying to tackle inequality. A promising approach could be to look at a city’s design, according to research with real-world data in the journal Nature Communications.

An international team of scientists, including members of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna (CSH), shows that urban planning directly affects the formation of social networks in a city and, subsequently, the socio-economic equality or inequality of its citizens.

“We know how important social networks are to our social and economic outcomes,” explains CSH researcher Johannes Wachs, one of the authors of the article. Social relationships provide individuals with essential access to resources, information, economic opportunities and other forms of support. In cities with more evenly distributed social networks, economic inequality tended to be …

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