Functional Distance

Functional distance describes to how likely (due to location or architecture) that people will come into contact with each other. Propinquity,the increased likelihood of developing a relationship with someone due to closeness in proximity, is influenced by not only physical distance but functional distance as well.

For example, a person in a city may be very close physically to the person that lives across the alley from them in another building but the functional distance is high in the fact that they are not likely to come into contact with the other person very often. But that same individual would have a close functional distance to a person who lives on the same floor as them and uses the same lobby, mail room, laundry room, and gym making them more likely to develop a social relationship with that person.

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