In my city, where residential buildings are predominantly multi-family dwellings and per capita density is high, it helps to like your neighbors.
In the six years since we have owned our condo here, we have not only liked our neighbors, but have felt deeply enriched by their daily presence in our lives. And so we were sad to say good-bye recently to one set of beloved neighbors with whom we have enjoyed many fun times, especially with the family's two boys whom M just adored.
But, as luck would have it, we were able to somewhat "hand-pick" our new neighbors. Playground friends of ours with three young boys happened to be searching for a home in our neighborhood when I heard that my neighbor was considering selling and, voila, the deal was done.
With eight kids ages six and under in our building, it's a busy house; but one that is also filled, most gratefully, with a strong sense of community and commitment to children.