Building Blocks for a Sociable City Plan

our approach

Safe, vibrant and well-managed social economies need all four Building Blocks of a Sociable City™ to succeed.
That’s why we use a holistic framework to analyze a city’s social economy.


An alliance of stakeholders dedicated to nighttime governance is key to long-term success


Sociable cities anticipate mobility needs and create systems to maintain a high quality of life


Safety in social districts and within venues requires coordination among public and private partners


Vibrancy is created by the mix of social experiences in venues and in public space both day and night


Sociable cities require an alliance of diverse stakeholders to facilitate vibrancy and safety. Alliances play a critical role in guiding the evolution of a city’s burgeoning nightlife by trendspotting, allocating resources and overseeing implementation of strategies developed by action teams. Dedicated Resources are needed to maintain the critical balance of vibrancy and safety in the nighttime economy. This includes staff from key departments and agencies and upgrades to infrastructure and policy to match the district's stage of development. Action teams exist to oversee a process to define short and long term objectives, identify available resources and implement an Action Plan for each of the Sociable City Building Blocks.


Smart growth planning for nightlife seamlessly facilitates use of hospitality zones at different times of day and for different purposes. High standards for quality of life and safe mobility options to/from and within the district requires foresight to plan and the infrastructure to make it a reality. Residents expect a high quality of life, even in active hospitality zones. This requires clear community standards and management of sound, litter and waste. Updated policies, consistent enforcement and facilitated conflict resolution systems are essential. Nightlife patrons need safe rides home to prevent impaired driving. Coordination of transportation options requires a robust mobility management plan for evening and late-night activity.


Nightlife settings are typically high-intensity environments with complex dynamics and risk factors. A continuum of stakeholders, principal of which are police and venue security, are invested in protecting patrons from violence, sexual assault, theft, underage drinking and impaired driving. Venue safety is an organized alliance of nightlife businesses to formalize practices and improve communication with regulatory and enforcement agencies. A coordinated system with training, newsletters, forums and award celebrations build commitment. Public safety is an interagency collaborative to collect and organize data, identify at risk venues and patron behavior and coordinated early assistance for improved compliance.


Vibrancy is created by a variety of social experiences in bars, restaurants, cafes and live music venues. Spontaneous encounters in public space, such as in outdoor cafes, plazas, etc. also signal the vitality of a district. Entertainment is measured by current social options (e.g. dining, live entertainment), mix of clientele, systems for promotion, and retention of talent. Factors to consider are number of venues, combined number of seats available, hours and economic impact. Public space is evaluated by systems in place for outdoor dining, street performers, food vendors, sidewalk capacity, festivals, art walks, music walks and integration with established venues.

Core Measures of a Sociable City

Planning   |   Safety   |   vibrancy

Sociable cities are built upon a foundation of four Building Blocks: Foundation, Planning, Safety and Vibrancy.
The last three Building Blocks are further divided into Six Core Measures.


E-Hail | Safe Rides | Taxi Stands | Valet Parking | Transport Hubs | Parking Safety | Traffic Safety | DUI Prevention | Public Transit Hours | Street Closure | Pedestrian Safety

Quality of Life

Sound Control | Trash Pick-up | Cigarette Litter | Public Restrooms | Public Civility | Resident Forum | Vandalism | Zoning Standards | Mediation | Agent of Change

Public Safety

Licenses | Closing Time | Crowds | Officer Training | Ambassador | Safety Alliance | Business Mentor | CPTED | Crime Prevention | Early Assistance | Data Driven Strategy | Permits

Venue Safety

Safety Plan | Server Training | Security Training | Nightlife Alliance | Customer Service | Age Identification | Patron Behavior | Sexual Assault | Extended Hours | Community Forums

Public Space

Outdoor Dining | Public Markets | Vendors | Kiosks | Pedestrian Safety | Street Performers-Buskers | Food Trucks | Accessibility | Panhandling | Lighting