Cultivating 'Civity': Enhancing City Resilience with Bridging Relationships and Increased Trust
40 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2014 Last revised: 4 Oct 2014
Date Written: April 4, 2014
Sociologists have demonstrated that “civic” social networks — weblike (“small-world, weak-tie”) networks comprised of collaborative relationships that bridge across social divides to generate trust and norms of generalized reciprocity — contribute to the resilience of city-systems. These results suggest that cities can cultivate resilience in their human communities by intentionally nurturing “civity” — civic social networks.
The structure and quality of the civic social networks associated with city resilience point toward two types of legal approaches to nurturing these networks: (1) creating bridging relationships; and (2) facilitating interactions among citizens that build trust and collaboration. Law can facilitate the creation of bridging relationships between diverse groups, which enable communication and the growth of a sense of city-wide “we”-ness. Law can also create conditions for citizens to work together build trust and empathy.
Keywords: cities, resilience, trust, relationships, social construction of law, law as story, social networks, civity, complex adaptive systems
JEL Classification: Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation