Big Cities Lead to Less Freedom

Cities Require More Laws

For the most part, I try to be as logical as possible. I profess myself to be a huge supporter of cities and urban lifestyles, but today I wanted to examine a noteworthy disadvantage of city life. It turns out that the more tightly packed people are, the more laws are enacted. Thinking on a simplistic level this makes sense.When people have less personal space, more boundaries need to be set in place to manage and fairly allocate this space.


I chose this rather daunting sky-level view of New York City to remind everyone of just how crowded cities can be.

Let's consider some common regulations that are found in cities, but usually not in urban areas.

Noise Restrictions
Leash Laws
Parking Regulations
Strict Recycling Mandates
Rental Limitations
Utility Limitations
Transit Zones: Pedestrian vs. Bike vs. Car

Depending on the specific city, there may be more or less crowding specific legislation. But regardless, most of these legal codes do not exist in rural areas since they tend to correlate with lack of space. Take parking regulations for example. Small towns tend to have an abundance of wide roads that experience low traffic; parking cars on streets overnight does not cause any disruptions. On the other hand, many cities have narrow multi-lane streets that are always congested. If a car were to park here for any amount of time, chaos would ensue. 

While I still think that cities win out, it is important to be fully aware of the trade offs that come from moving from urban to rural and vice versa. Tomorrow I will write a bit more about what benefits cities have to confer that rural areas cannot provide.