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What Makes Cities Lively?

Some cities are more lively than others. New York or Chicago seem much more full of life than Los Angeles or San Francisco. (Although San Fran is not too bad.) But what makes some cities more lively than others? Why is it so much fun to roam around in Manhattan even at late hours of the night while downtown LA starts turning into a deserted island at 7:30 PM?

What makes cities lively? When we think of cities that are fun we think of food carts, street performers, public spaces, public art and architecture. We think of late night things to do, events and jovial people out and about at odd hours of the day.

Cities, or at least their public facades are defined by the elites. There are broadly three groups of elites who run a city - State, Business and Academia. Each of these three have a very specific social contract with the citizens.

The State maintains a monopoly on physical and economic violence and provides social security for everyone. Business maintains monopoly on economic produ…

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