Less in Common from City Observatory

The essence of cities is bringing people—from all walks of life—together in one place. Social interaction and a robust mixing of people from different backgrounds, of different ages, with different incomes and interests is part of the secret sauce that enables progress and creates opportunity. But over the past several decades, we’ve increasingly separated from one another. By many measures, we now spend less time in social settings and are less likely to regularly interact with people whose experiences are different from our own.

This report by City Observatory surveys a wide range of measures of how Americans have grown apart from one another over the past several decades. By drawing attention to the need for more opportunities to join together, Less in Common underscores the importance of Reimagining the Civic Commons and its aim to demonstrate how strategic investments in our civic assets can connect people of all backgrounds, cultivate trust and counter the trends of social and economic fragmentation in cities and neighborhoods.