The spatial potentials for economic activity and liveliness can also be calculated. This is called vitality. Thriving local businesses and a vital street life are usually found in neighborhoods and streets that are accessible and well connected with their surroundings.
The most successful residential areas (in the sense of ‘liveability’, ‘liveliness’ and ‘social safety’) are neighborhoods with central (main) streets and an overlap of spatial potentials for both local businesses and vital street life. Residential streets with a vital street life are experienced as more pleasant by visitors and residents alike, especially when these streets also house many local businesses. A vital street life creates commitment; commitment of residents to their street, their neighborhood, and their city. This is also noted by visitors from outside. In vital streets, residents and visitors feel at less uncomfortable or unsafe. There are more social eyes on the street, a better mixing of public (residents / visitors / passers-by, but also young / old) and people are more likely to intervene when something threatens to go wrong. This active informal social control is not only present, it is also ‘felt’ by people with ill intentions who therefore are less likely to cross the line.