Richard Sennett on Quality of Life in Cities

"I want to explore the concept of 'quality of life' in cities. My own view can be stated simply: the quality of life in a city is good when its inhabitants are capable of dealing with complexity. Conversely, the quality of life in cities is bad when its inhabitants are capable only of dealing with people like themselves. Put another way, a healthy city can embrace and make productive use of the differences of class, ethnicity, and lifestyles it contains, while a sick city cannot; the sick city isolates and segregates difference, drawing no collective strength from its mixture of different people."

Richard Sennett, from "Why Complexity Improves Quality of City Life" in "Hong Kong: Cities, Health and Well-Being," a publication of the Urban Age Conference, 2011

This is part of a collection of quotes related to cities. They don't necessarily reflect our views, just topics of interest. We welcome you to add others.

Credits: Image of "Boulevard de los Capucines" by Claude Monet from

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