Cities and Personalities (12-20-21)

Researchers have learned that as the forms of cities evolve the personalities of likely residents are different, which has design implications.  A team lead by Gotz (study published in American Psychologist) reports that “Rising house prices may change the personality make-up of US cities within a few years, with residents becoming increasingly open-minded – not just as wealthier people move in, but also among longer-term locals. This is according to a University of Cambridge-led study of almost two million people in the US living across 199 cities. Psychologists tracked annual personality scores over nine years (2006 to 2014). . . . just a $50 rise in a city’s average housing prices saw the characteristic of “openness” increase significantly. . . . Openness is one of five major personality traits, and captures levels of curiosity and creativity. . . . . The trait of ‘Openness’ is strongly associated with liberal votes and attitudes as well as entrepreneurial activity. It is also linked to socioeconomic status: the desire and freedom to explore new experiences can be a side effect of sufficient wealth and security.”

“Gentrification Changes the Personality Make-Up of Cities in Just a Few Years.”  2021.  University of Cambridge, Press release,