Title: Close-knit cities

Authors: Jason Matteson

Addresses: Department of Philosophy, Northern Arizona University, Room 312 #6011, 803 S Beaver St., Flagstaff AZ 86011-6011, USA

Abstract: Aristotle rightly holds that the constitution of a city is not entirely captured by its written documents or official political structures. More fundamentally, the constitution of a city is made up of its real and deep habits, customs, relations, expectations, aspirations, and ideals of the people who live there. The aim here is to articulate five values that together constitute what I will call close-knit cities: a) ecological resiliency; b) intimate proximity; c) social heterogeneity; d) fairness; e) social trust. I give a brief account of each of these values alone, along the way showing how each value needs the others to be fully realised, and ultimately argue that at least most cities should aspire to become close-knit cities because they simultaneously realise environmental stewardship and enable human flourishing.

Keywords: cities; urbanism; ecological urbanism; resiliency; intimate proximity; social heterogeneity; fair consideration of interests; trust; human flourishing; environmental stewardship.

DOI: 10.1504/IER.2016.076143

Interdisciplinary Environmental Review, 2016 Vol.17 No.2, pp.73 - 86

Received: 11 Feb 2015
Accepted: 06 Sep 2015

Published online: 27 Apr 2016 *

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