Cities, Cell Phones, and Civil Uprisings

Two posts in the New York Times blogosphere today connect the political upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt with cities and urbanization.  The first, by urban economics demigod Edward Glaeser’s Economix blog, describes how living in close proximity with one another connects minds to breed innovation, productivity…and rioting. The scale that greater density offers can lead to a collective rising up in a way that taking to the streets in lower density areas just isn’t as empowering.

Add to this the explosive rise in cell phones in countries like Tunisia and Egypt in recent years as Andy Revkin points out in Dot Earth and you have rapid-fire connection of political agitators with the technology and incredible ability to quickly organize the masses to action.



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