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Why innovation thrives in cities?

Why innovation thrives in cities?

Double a city’s population and its economic productivity goes up 130 percent. MIT researchers think they know why.

By Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office 
Published June 4, 2013

In 2010, in the journal Nature, a pair of physicists at the Santa Fe Institute showed that when the population of a city doubles, economic productivity goes up by an average of 130 percent. Not only does total productivity increase with increased population, but so does per-capita productivity.

In the latest issue of Nature Communications, researchers from the MIT Media Laboratory’s Human Dynamics Lab propose a new explanation for that “superlinear scaling”: Increases in urban population density give residents greater opportunity for face-to-face interaction.

The new paper builds on previous work by the same group, which showed that increasing employees’ opportunities for face-to-face interaction could boost corporations’ productivity.

Read the article here.