The Atlantic

Having a Library or Café Down the Block Could Change Your Life

Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government.
Source: Wesley Hitt / Getty

As our political discourse generates derision and dissension, our time in the virtual world crowds out our time in the actual one, and trust in our institutions and one another has plummeted, local places such as markets, libraries, and coffee shops can help. A new study shows that living near community-oriented public and commercial spaces brings a host of social benefits, such as increased trust, decreased loneliness, and a stronger sense of attachment to where we live.

Americans who live in communities with a rich array of neighborhood amenities are twice as likely to talk

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