Cultivating 'Civity': Enhancing City Resilience with Bridging Relationships and Increased Trust

40 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2014 Last revised: 4 Oct 2014

See all articles by Palma Joy Strand

Palma Joy Strand

Creighton University Graduate School, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

Date Written: April 4, 2014

Abstract

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

Strand, Palma Joy, Cultivating 'Civity': Enhancing City Resilience with Bridging Relationships and Increased Trust (April 4, 2014). 50 Idaho Law Review 153 (2014), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2422559

Palma Joy Strand (Contact Author)

Creighton University Graduate School, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies ( email )

2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
United States

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