Designing Trust:

Building Social Trust Through Urban Design

An effort by designer Em Friedenberg to investigate our built environment's effect on our communities and trust.

Social trust is essential to the health, happiness, and stability of our communities, and yet it has been declining rapidly in the United States since the 1960s. The suburbanization of the nation, which began its sweeping rise as trust levels plummeted, has exacerbated the problem and cemented its causes.The built environment of the suburbs, and the subsequent inescapable reliance on cars, has failed to provide the public space and density needed for daily social interactions, upon which trust is dependent. By changing our urban spaces to encourage more social modes of transportation and more time spent in public places, social trust can be built back up again.

(featured on City Observatory)