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posted by hubie on Monday March 25, @03:49AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

The next time you're on a walk, consider stopping by that restaurant you've never been to or the local store you keep meaning to check out. They just might be the key to a vibrant local economy, according to a new study.

In a surprise finding based on anonymized cell phone mobility records, infrequent trips to places like restaurants and sports facilities—not the everyday office visit or school drop-off—accounted for the majority of differences in economic outcomes between neighborhoods.

The lesson for urban planners and individuals, researchers said, is to embrace the unusual.

[...] The activities with the strongest predictive power included French and New American restaurants, golf courses, hockey rinks, soccer games, and bagel shops. These kinds of activities accounted for just 2% of trips but explained more than 50% of the variation in economic outcomes between neighborhoods. Wang and his collaborators didn't initially expect these leisure activities to be so tied to local economic fortunes.

[...] "Those irregular and infrequent activities are correlated with explorative behavior, the tendency of some groups to seek out opportunities, connect with different people, and create new businesses," said Esteban Moro, Ph.D., a professor at Northeastern University, who co-led the study. "Looking at those infrequent activities, we are directly looking at current and potential economic opportunities in the future."

[...] What was most surprising was that trips to the office—where we earn our money—were not strongly associated with income or property values. Rather, it's how we spend our free time that drives the economic vibrancy of cities.

Journal Reference:
Wang, S., Zheng, Y., Wang, G. et al. Infrequent activities predict economic outcomes in major American cities. Nat Cities (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s44284-024-00051-7


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Monday March 25, @03:22PM

    by VLM (445) on Monday March 25, @03:22PM (#1350271)

    The real story is in the assumptions.

    The story uses the V-word, vibrant. To most of the population, vibrant has come to mean ridiculously overpriced mass-produced consumer culture slop mixed with strict class divisions between the servant class and the served class; needless to say everyone pretends we are all going to be in the minor-nobility class not in the servant class, but the numbers do not match up; its mostly about making poor puppets dance to the strings being pulled for entertainment purposes.

    Very many people do not see it as an improvement in quality of life to pay triple the cost to have some poverty-stricken person open a bottle of beer purchased from the same Costco I shop in a subserviant manner. That's what "vibrant" means. The whole experience feels gross to almost everyone, which is why it's not very popular and most people who can afford it, move away from it.

    So in summary, vibrant is pretty gross and most people want to live far away from the bagel shop not nearby it.

    Vibrant is like rats, people don't live in the city because they want to live around rats, the rats live in the city because the people are there. That's why there's an entire business model around buying a box of Costco bagels at $1/each and selling them at a bagel shop for $10/each. Thats what vibrant is all about.

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