Skip to content
CityLab
Culture

Want to Meet Your Neighbors? Take a Cue From Co-Living Spaces

“Dorms for adults” aren’t for everyone, but they have the right idea when it comes to intra-building communication.
relates to Want to Meet Your Neighbors? Take a Cue From Co-Living Spaces
Courtesy of Common

Around one-third of Americans have never interacted with their neighbors. Especially in cities, that’s hardly surprising—Eileen Bjornstrom, a professor of sociology at the University of Missouri, says research suggests that cohesion is a byproduct of stability, and something that develops slowly over time. In places where moving apartments at the end of every one-year lease is often a fact of life, that’s hard to come by.

New York Magazine recently asked five authors to record the experience of striking up a conversation with neighbors they’d previously ignored. The writer Katie Arnold-Ratliff described the reasoning behind her initial reticence: