Boston’s “diversity density”

Monday, July 11, 2011

Have you checked your “diversity density” lately? Coined by former MassINC colleague Robert Sullivan, diversity density is an indicator of not only of the range of diversity in a city bit also the likelihood that city residents actually encounter each other around town.

Sullivan, writing in the Boston Sunday Globe says that, “In general, a high diversity density seems to be correlated with a stable or growing economy.” Boston ranks third on Sullivan’s diversity density list. This bodes well for the city’s economic competiveness. Conversely cities like Baltimore and St. Louis lack the broad diversity and density that often sparks innovation and reinvention. It seems that creating places and providing opportunities where it’s easier to encounter a variety of different people isn’t just good for the soul, but the pocketbook as well.

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