One defining attributes of the city is propinquity. Propinquity, defined as the state of physical proximity to another individual, can also develop into relational propinquity by design. Through environmental design, individuals who are brought close together in propinquity can be regarded as neighbors, while those outside this circle are usually marked as strangers. In turn, and at least by the ethics of proximity, how neighbors and strangers are treated is likely to be different. This difference is morally significant and impinges on any city with cosmopolitan aspirations. What then is an ethic of proximity that can commensurate with the cosmopolitan aspirations in cities today? This chapter then relies on the story of the Good Samaritan as an intuition pump to initiate thinking on this question.
KeywordsPropinquity Functional distance Moral distance Ethics of proximity Strangers
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